Publisher: Image Shadowline
Written, Illustrated & Covers by Brian Haberlin
Coloured by Geirrod Van Dyke
Lettered by Francis Takenaga
Here we are at the final issue of this arc of Hellcop. I am very glad to see there will be more of Virgil and the whole Hellcop concept. I think there’s some interesting potential to explore. It fees like we’ve just got an idea of this world and it will be good to see more, especially as the end of this arc leaves plenty of different character opportunities to explore. I was quite happy with the conclusion but I would have happily enjoyed another issue or two in this arc as I think the plot could have stretched that far without losing anything.
Last issue we discovered Virgil’s dead wife had been looking after him. He finally gained the courage to say goodbye to her. It was a really nice little emotional beat that linked back to a conversation between Virgil and Taj in the first issue. Speaking of Taj she had been caught by Karen who it turns out isn’t dead. Virgil has no idea however as he and the first Hellcop, Briggs, are busy with a plan to get the senator back in his body and end the exploitation of the hellish wasteland.
There’s plenty of tension as we don’t quite know how things will shake out. I was probably more worried about Taj as she has taken risks in the heart of the lions den. It’s good to see her discover the side of things from her end. We already knew the Senator had been replaced but here Taj discovers it for herself. It’s interesting as well to contrast not! Senator with actual Senator who is slightly concerned about the plan to get him back in his body. That plan though harks back to the scarabs and of course the first thing that brought Virgil to this point. It’s good to see that details from the start are paid off here. Which also includes the demon love of sugar making a plot related appearance here again.
There are even more interesting designs of characters this issue. I have to say never have cherubs been so cute, disturbing and a little bit gross all at once. These are not the cherubs of mythology, cute little baby types into spreading love. These are the kinds of cherub who are a little bit demonic but also the ones you would want on your side if you were being chased by Hellcops and needed a quick lift.
I will also shout out to three headed dogs. We met the puppy in an earlier issue. Now we meet the mother and she is not to be messed with. The dog drool was a nice touch (I mean three headed dogs have to don’t they?), as was the slightly gory method this big dog uses to dispatch people who get in her way. I do love a giant three headed hell dog. Much as I liked the puppy version I was very pleased the full size one was in this issue. And again harks back to the fact we met the three headed hell puppy in an earlier issue, we knew there was a mother dog. Added to that great design is also the mobile phone that looks like a bone. Just a nice bit of fun.
That’s what I like about the tone. There are some serious points but there’s also a sense of fun and some nice little bits of humour that are laced throughout. It fits really well since we are dealing with a strange world and from the first there’s been a bit of a sense of the absurd. As a result humour never feels out of place with it, sitting nicely in that crazy concept.
Overall this was a strong finish to the first arc. Not only is this issue a good conclusion of the first arc but it set things up well for the future too. There are plenty of little threads that will hopefully be revisited in the future but I am happy with the conclusion. It’s been a really fun ride to go along with Virgil and Taj. There’s been some interesting side characters who hopefully will appear again and a world with a lot of potential for future adventures. I’m very excited for more Hellcop.