Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by Pat Shand
Illustrated by Renzo Rodriguez
Coloured by Walter Baiamonte
Lettered by Ryan Ferrier
Angelica Blackstone, a half-vampire and half-god known as the Hellchild, has accepted an offer from the mysterious businesswoman Jezebel: Hellchild will find, locate, and murder Kevin Nestor, a man who is attempting to resurrect a demonic, reptilian sorcerer. Hellchild kills Nestor, but does not see the essence of the sorcerer reanimate Nestor’s corpse, creating a host for a whole new evil.
One of the things that sets Pat’s characterisation apart from the field is his ability to get us into their complex thought patterns. While Angelica tries to find her own place in the world she goes through that whole moment of having an epiphany where she never wanted to be like her father and now she wants nothing more than that. Having been brought back with this thirst and hunger inside her is hard to control and she’s trying god bless. Still it’s a process and one that takes time so it’s nice to see here continue to struggle with how she now sees herself.
The introduction of Jezebel, who she is and what she really wants has been fantastic to see. Yes she’s willing to bankroll Angelica but for what real purpose? Perhaps it’s just me but i’m more than a little suspicious about her motives as the way she’s going about things. Granted it makes for delicious storytelling and it’s high among the reasons that make this story so gosh darned interesting.
I’m a big fan of the interior artwork here as well. I’m loving the whole kind of punk rock look that fits Hellchild’s attitude. That she doesn’t need to look so slutty to be the woman she is makes me happy. Renzo and Walter’s work here really brings to life the creatures that we see. From the snakes and reptiles to the “monsters” that inhabit the world the creativity and imagination on display here is fantastic to see. The use of page layouts through their angles and perspective are well done I only wish backgrounds were more utilised than they are.
There are so many great ways that Pat injects the modern horror elements into this story as well. The woman being attacked by her neighbors is a prime example of that and the reveal by all is truly inspired. Also I am a fan of this circumstances that surround Angelica that continue to make her question her place in the world. From being a hero to being seen as a monster keeps her from being able to focus and it’s just superb writing.
This is the kind of story that reminds us that not all horror has to be in your face it can be smart, tantalising and tease you in ways that keep you on the edge of creepy and fascinated.