Wednesday, April 23, 2008

HellGate: London, vol. 1

Story by Arvid Nelson with Art by J.M
Released by TokyoPop

Slugline: For a video game tie-in, I didn't have to hold my nose.

I spend my time reviewing manga, so I don't play video games (or watch anime) so the game that this is based on is completely unknown to me. From what I understand, timewise, this is an early prequel that details some of the events leading to the rise of the demons in London. Focused on the antagonism between the Knights Templar and the Cabalist factions, it tells the story of John and Lindsey Fowler, siblings that are descendants of a Knight Templar family, who had an ancestor who went bad. Needless to say, that ancestor was a little bit miffed and has decided to come back in the run up to the HellGate incident where the demons return to Earth, with the end result of the siblings being forced to operate in two separate factions by the end of the volume.

Fairly straightforward action/horror title, competently done, with a couple of emotional twists that while I wasn't too surprised by, neither was I expecting. While the characters are not all that smart, they are consistently not all that smart, which makes it sorta okay. The art is on the realistic side, so you know who everyone is and what they are doing, which sometimes can be difficult in an action title. So the title makes 3 stars for not screwing up and not being too cliche. Not sure if that is damning by faint praise or not...

HellGate: London, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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