Zenescope Entertainment 2019
Written by Raven Gregory
Illustrated by Allan Otero
Coloured by Robby Bevard
Lettered by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios
Hot on the trail of the monster responsible for stealing the bones of her greatest enemy, Helsing will learn first-hand that the threat she now faces may be the greatest threat of all.
One of the things about this that I love dearly is that the greatest men of fictional horror have these amazing female descendants who inevitably end up with Robyn and Liesel. Case in point our favourite scientist Julie Kenzie Jekyll who is a biochemist specialising in blood. Granted while it is true that the friends in either woman's life don't tend to live or stick around for long here's hoping that will not be true of Julie.
I like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see here and how information is released is very well done. We see the focus of the issue clearly and after the events of last issue it is a welcome sight to see Julie doing what she does best. The character development is phenomenal and this is something Raven has always done exceedingly well. Watching Julie work, listening to her inner dialogue and then watching her go find her friend is everything we could hope for and more. Her work, her commitments and her idea of friendship plus her actions all work together beautifully to flesh her out before our eyes. When we factor how the pacing takes us through the story revealing the twists, turns and even revelations they create this great ebb & flow to the book. The sheer fact that Raven is able to weave so many different things going on here and make them into this cohesive as he inserts events into the story is sensational.
With this issue especially the way we see Julie is as a supporting character. Someone who is interesting, dynamic, brainy and beautiful but she isn't centre stage star material. She shouldn't be either I love that she is who she is, how she fits into her role in Liesel's life and work. It is nice to see that not everyone introduced is one who should be spun into a book of their own. Also that I have thought about this as deeply as I have is because Raven took me off-script and had my mind wander with the possibilities of this character. I have said it time and again that when a writer is able to do this at this level, meaning my musing, there is more than a modicum of talent on display.
The interiors here are fantastic! The linework is shows a sure, strong and steady hand as it utilises the varying weights to create this really superb attention to detail here. Also I have commend the way that backgrounds are being utilised here as well. The detail is stellar and the way they enhance the moments and bring a sense of size and scope to the book is marvellous. Also the composition inside the panels with the way foregrounds and backgrounds are seen create this nice depth perception as well. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a super strong eye for storytelling. The colour work here is gorgeous and how we see a base colour and the hues and tones within it create shading and shadows is extremely well done.
While I still don't understand why they wear next to nothing when fighting, more so with Vampires, I do have to say that I really like the way that this story is being told. I do not like what happened to Jonathan and Mina but and this is a huge but I will be okay with it, after all they were really just two folks who had history with Liesel. When Hades comes back, huge hint, maybe he can bring them as well. I like this and continues the idea that Zenescope is telling more mature stories that don't centre on T&A but strong, solid storytelling.