REVIEW CORNER: In Hell We Fight! # 1

In Hell We Fight! # 1 (2023)
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Jok
Colorists: Jok & Mey

This week I’ll take a look at the new Image series “In Hell We Fight” which tells the story of three condemned teens that sees them set off on the adventure of a lifetime……in hell!!

The issue introduces the readers to the main characters, such as Alexander “Xander” Waterford, who was a young man who hated frogs with a passion until he met up with the frog god known as “Bufobeelz” (This is by far one of the most bizarre things to come out of this comic), Midori Fukada, a young assassin who fell after battling the clan soldiers of her adopted father, who was a mob boss, There’s Ernie Comstock, a young man who was murdered by a cursed ax (Yikes!) finally, they’re joined by Balpha-Dagon, a young demon who just wants to be accepted by the group (It also doesn’t help matter that his father is an archdemon who lords over land in hell). Together they set out to hijack a demon lord’s delivery truck filled with ice cream (You hear it correctly- Ice Cream!)

This is a comic that relies heavily on exposition rather than getting to the heart of the story but I will say that Layman does his best to flesh out the personalities of the main characters (Midori, however, is quickly establishing herself as the annoying factor due to her dominating personality) while striking a balance between the characters’ bantering and seeking out the delivery truck. While I enjoy the fast-paced dialogue and bizarre elements that would make Tim Burton jealous with envy, the plot tends to slow down at times but it looks like Layman has a plan to get the ball rolling after this issue so….. let’s see what happens next. Jok’s artwork does wonders when it comes to bringing out the more colorful aspects of hell so I’ll give him his props on that. His linework looks like an old soul finding his second act, with that Layman’s lucky to have him by his side.

“In Hell We Fight!” feels like an unnecessary reboot of “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” mixed with any heist movie to come out in the 2000s/2010s where the comedy aspects take over from the plot due to either little action or that the story itself may be drifting off from its original idea; Either way, I was expecting something more innovative and joyful that could make use of the comedic moments when it’s needed but felt flat after the first few pages. Hopefully, with the second issue, Layman can redeem himself while making sure that this title doesn’t become another tax write-off for Image.

Well, that’s it for me this week. Thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.

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