Science fiction and fantasy
A Glimpse of Hell - The Dark Gospel
by Luke Cooper
I'm not averse to violence in stories, when the action serves a purpose. But this graphic novel is all action all the time, and not much else. The trigger-happy detective doesn't stop to think about the rights and wrongs of his actions at any point. There's no introspection. And precious little happens that doesn't involve some kind of fight. So I didn't end up caring for any of the characters because they were too one-dimensionally macho, and that includes Halo Slipping and the emo-demoness Holly. They also didn't appear to have inner lives, as though all they really stood for was shooting anything that got in their way.
The black and white artwork is stark and noirish. The faces are well drawn and the style realistic. However the way the characters are posed often let the story down. There's one panel where Halo is supposedly getting strangled, but she looks like she's standing casually. Slightly more dynamic figures and perhaps different viewpoints might have made the visuals more believable. Sometimes the issues with the graphics took me out of the story, it it's a story I was already struggling to engage with. Luke Cooper is, in my view, a much better artist than he is a storyteller. There was simply not enough substance between all of the rampant demon slaying and general winged mayhem to make A Glimpse of Hell worth a second look.
7th November 2012
If you like this, try:Black Light by Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan and Stephen Romano
Ghost hunter Buck Carlsbad faces off against evil on a high speed train.
Review © Ros Jackson
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