The Vertigo imprint of DC Comics has been responsible for introducing beautiful and beloved stories with a markedly darker twinge to the comic book reading populace for decades. Vertigo got it’s start in 1993 and Karen Berger was responsible for running and cultivating it into what it is today. Titles like Hellblazer, Sandman, Doom Patrol, and Shade, The Changing Man have been consistently beloved and purchased for years. Vertigo has been a staple of Comic readers for years. Heck, Karen Berger was the longest tenured employee that DC had when she quit. And Vertigo puts out good stuff even now. Sweet Tooth, new Sandman, Astro City, and Unwritten are continuing on the legacy set out before them. So, a publisher that is famous for pushing the edge of innovation can’t possibly have anything new for readers, can they?
This brings us to Hinterkind #1. Hinterkind is a brand new series from Vertigo and features author, Ian Edgington (X-Force, Scarlet Traces, H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Leviathan) and artist Francesco Trifogli (Mystery In Space, X Comics). The series has kind of an elaborate pitch, so I am just going to quote it from Vertigo’s website:
“Men go and come, but Earth abides.”— Ecclesiastes 1:4
Decades after “The Blight” all but wiped out the human race, Mother Nature is taking back what’s hers, and she’s not alone…The Hinterkind have returned.
From the last, lost corners of the world they come, a myriad menagerie of myth and magic…but these aren’t childhood fairytale creatures. They are flesh, blood and passion, and they have a long-simmering hatred for those who drove them into the shadows: The human race!
After her grandfather disappears, Prosper Monday must leave the security and seclusion of their Central Park village to venture into the wilds to find him, unaware of how much the world has changed. Or how hungry it has become…
See what I mean? Nature is over-running the Earth and that sets us up with some really visually captivating set pieces. Trifogli is drawing his guts out and while the art can be a little sketchy at times, it’s always elaborate. The writing isn’t too shabby either. You can really tell that the writer and artist have a team ethic. The character dialogue and interactions are believable while focusing on the small immediate challenges that they are facing despite the large scale situation they are wrapped up in. Edgington pulls off the trick of working with fantastical, ancient power-type things in realistic, street-level ways. Yes, it is a post-apocalyptic style world, but the most important problems are relational between main protagonists. And what a protagonist we have in Prosper Monday (girl’s name?)!
One part Katniss from Hunger Games, one part Charlie from NBC’c Revolution, Prosper Monday is a delicate, but strong character with a lot of spirit to her. She is our entry point to this wild world. She shows herself as a capable and likable character with maybe a hint of destiny on her.
Add to all of this “crazy/giant/spiritual/animal/Mad-Max-esque/Robert Love looking monsters” and we’ve got something. Being that this is a Vertigo comic book, I would guess that these creatures have a deeper meaning. But, a giant bright pink monster cast against the muted color palettes in the landscape of Hinterkind is jarring.
So, we have heroes and monsters at odds in an interesting setting. Pretty compelling stuff. Certainly worth a read if you like all of the things that I have compared it to or if you’re bored with superheroes. Is it a stone cold lock to be referred as a must-buy constantly? No, but it was good enough for me to suggest that you take a look at it with this post. I have a feeling that this story is only going to get better as we deal with the actual Hinterkind more. Buy Hinterkind #1 at Collected: Plano if you’re feeling froggy! (and also live in Dallas…)
LET US KNOW HOW YOU LIKED IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
~ Scott Deaux ~