Bigfoot. Big trouble.

Publisher: Image Shadowline
Written, Illustrated & Covers by Brian Haberlin
Coloured by Geirrod Van Dyke
Lettered by Francis Takenaga
Editing by Sally Haberlin

When last we left the amazing world of Hellcop the good guys had won and the bad apples had been removed. Virgil was left as Captain of the Hellcop ship. I was wondering where things would go after the first arc. I was not picturing this and I have to say I love it. We go from the wastelands of hell (or a dimension like hell) to the snowy wastelands of the Pacific Northwest. This issue is based very firmly in our world for now but that doesn’t mean we don’t get the usual magical twists.

One of those twists is that Sasquatch is real. Just from another dimension. The Hellcops are alerted but not before two hunters shoot what turns out to the Prince of the Sasquatch, which lands local Hellcop Gladys with a big headache. What I liked about this is the way it builds the world out. We’ve seen the Hellcops HQ but here’s one of the outposts. Just one Hellcop biding her time playing video games until she gets an alert. It very much sells the more mundane cop aspects. Like this is a big organisation with many operatives.

What also sells that idea is the introduction of Efren Lee a rather hilarious character in the best ways. One of the super geniuses employed by the Hellcops research department he’s invented a machine for projecting different realities. There’s some vague magical technobabble explanation which I totally bought. I sense this particular device might come in handy in the future. I mean different physics models sound like they will come in handy.

This whole issue does feel like it’s laying the groundwork for the new setup. We see Virgil as the Captain. We have Taj once again as his tech support and advisor and the introduction and expansion of the Hellcops world with Gladys and Dr Lee. It’s very effective and works to introduce new aspects and concepts. One of which involves Sasquatch.

In many ways this is a bit more lighthearted than the first arc. There’s less murder and framing for murder involved but tonally this feels like it absolutely follows on from the previous arc. The character designs do the same thing. The Sasquatch is a nice bit of design, not something we’ve seen before. In the previous arc we saw the Hellscape dimension is a desert. Here we are in the ‘real world’ and we get snowy forests. The Sasquatch with his fur and large size absolutely works as the Sasquatch of legend but also has that other worldly design about him. The jewellery, the face that looks similar to the demons we’ve seen before.

We get some really nice facial expressions. From the hunters who are amazed to have shot a Sasquatch, to one of the other Sasquatch who has come looking for his prince. His snarling face looks like a real threat. Taj as usual has some nice subtle expressions ranging from concern to vague embarrassment. Gladys also has some good moments.

I really like Gladys. She’s a Hellcop who believes in aliens which one of her colleagues thinks is weird. Creatures from a hell-like dimension, sure those exist, but not aliens. Gladys even has a flying saucer ‘I want to believe’ poster in her office. I liked that nice little touch. Another nice little touch was the magical ID card where she could swipe to get the ID for any government agency or department. It was rather hilarious to have her swipe through and give her comments about the various government agencies.

I just really enjoyed this issue a lot. There was a lot of the same great humour I enjoyed about the first arc. The world building feels natural and definitely building on what has come before. The new characters are great fun and I really look forward to seeing more of them. Then there’s the mysterious epilogue story where a young man bumps into a demon unknowingly and ends up with a flyer that leads to an excellent if predictable pun. I am intrigued where that will go.

This is a really strong start to the second arc. Now the setup has been established it feels like more fun can be had in the universe and this certainly takes some classic concepts like the Sasquatch and runs with it. It’s still got a fresh feel but it also has the benefit of strongly established characters and a distinct voice and tone which really works. I’m very much onboard for the next part of the Hellcop ride.

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