A bit of a Sasquatch for Virgil.

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

Hey, Hellcop fans! If you have been enjoying my reviews and you enjoy Hellcop do check out my interview with creator Brian Haberlin. It was a lot of fun and boy is there some great stuff coming up. Have a listen here.

I really enjoyed the last issue, the first of a new arc, and I can confirm this issue is also a lot of fun. There is plenty of action and plot going on but the pacing as always really works for me. There’s some development from the end of the previous issue as we get more insight into the hellish black market, there’s further problems with the Sasquatch, and Gladys starts to come into her own. Oh and a three headed dog appears. Honestly I had such a good time reading this.

Let’s start with the pick up from the end of the last issue as that’s a plot thread that currently is not related to the Sasquatch plot. A young human followed a demon creature and found a flyer for a John Lennon concert said creature had dropped. Of course John Lennon is dead. Rather than figure this is tribute act the human follows the demon creature further and ends up in hell. This seems to set up some intriguing possibilities as a human in hell creates some export opportunities. What exactly will be exported is another question. If the hell black market is fed by the craving for the artificial taste of sweetener (not sugar as mentioned in previous reviews – glad we’ve cleared that up!) what exactly do they export? I want to find out.

It was fun to have that dropped in as it expands out the world of hell. What also expands out the world of hell is the Sasquatch plot. Virgil and Gladys have sent the prince home but what they get back is a declaration of war. So they have to go and visit the Sasquatch capital to try and prevent war. I enjoy the fact that even though this is a serious situation the light touch of humour is still there. I also love a Star Wars reference because let’s be honest Chewbacca does look a bit like a Sasquatch.

The Sasquatch city is suitably impressive. Many tall pointy spires with some impressive winged creature detail at the front. It’s rather intimidating. Inside too it’s very modern, clean, not what you expect from a Sasquatch which is really the point. We as a reader are lucky that we have Gladys as our guide. She asks the questions we want to. We get the exposition we want but it’s totally natural. Virgil is the experienced veteran Hellcop and Gladys is the rookie but their dynamic works really well because Virgil doesn’t talk down to her, he trusts her.

He very much has to trust her when he’s left in the Sasquatch palace pondering political machinations whilst Gladys has to go back to find the Kanamar, the essence of all Sasquatch rulers. Gladys has to go back to Earth to try and track it down. It was great to see Gladys out in the field and proving herself. I like the atmosphere the art portrays during these scenes, the emotions very plain on the faces of the characters, the pacific northwest feeling cold and a bit foreboding.

Taj doesn’t get much to do this issue, but she does get to feed a three headed dog which I loved. It was also nice to get a glimpse into Virgil’s life outside of the Hellcops. He has somewhere to live and a pet, even if that pet has three heads. The panel of Taj with the three bones in her hand did make me smile. It was a nice bit of fun and though it doesn’t add anything to the plot it was good to see Taj care for her friend (and her friend’s three headed dog).

As usual the issue ticked along nicely. It feel really well paced. A lot happens but it never feels rushed. The ending was great, such a plot bomb. I did not see that coming for poor Gladys. I am left wondering what exactly will happen next with the Sasquatch. It’s been really interesting getting to know one of the hell species in such a detailed way.

This was another excellent issue. It’s great to see the world of dimension 1301-A expanded out in such a detailed way and with so many different facets. There’s the criminal side, the complexity of the Sasquatch political system and the fact that 1301-A is just such a big world with so many different species, and cultures, in it. There’s so much potential for the stories in this world and this one is working out so well. With touches of humour, genuine peril and important plot I’m enjoying Hellcop more than ever.

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