I was a big fan of comic books when I was younger and have always kept a fondness for them even though I was unable to actively keep up with them any longer as other things came into my life. Over the last couple years, I have slowly been drawn back into the world of comics (or graphic novels) and so I decided to go ahead and try diving back in to see if I could again capture the sense of wonder and mystery that had captivated me years ago. I decided to pick up a DC Comics/Vertigo release, “Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World” written by Ian Edginton and illustrated by Francesco Trifogli, since the cover just seemed to reach out and grab my interest.
“Hinterkind” tells the story of the world fifty-seven years after the world was almost destroyed by a biological event and the human race has become scattered as society broke down. Even as wilderness again begins to claim the land, another species has also emerged from the shadows where it had once hid from humanity. They are the Hinterkind. They are creatures of legend that were chased into the corners of the world by frightened and suspicious men. Some of them may inspire fear by their appearance alone while others would be pleasing to the human eye and persecuted simply for being different. They are vampires and werewolves, centaurs and satyrs, and ogres and elves. They are the Hinterkind and their time on Earth has returned.
I thought that the premise of the story was a strong one and was hoping that this graphic novel, which collects the first six issues of the series, would deliver on that promise. It did, to some extent, but it did not quite live up to my hopes. First, the illustration of the story was sufficient if not superior. For me, the artwork is more of a supplemental aspect of the graphic novel. It the art is superior, then it simply adds to the story but it is the story and the writing that are the most important part for me (although that is my opinion and I know that others focus more on the art). Trifogli does a good job illustrating the story and the art went well with the story although it did not blow me away. I would give the art an average rating both in the quality as well as in how well it meshes with the story.
As for the story, it is a little difficult to judge at this point since this is a collection of the beginning of an ongoing series and not a finished work. With that in mind, I thought that the graphic novel was good but not great although it does show potential. It is interesting in that there are varying factions in the story that can be explored as the series progresses. There are not only the Hinterkind and the humans but there are also faction within the humans that are in opposition to each other and which could be interesting stories in their own right. I also see potential in the Hinterkind as this is a very diverse group of beings that I have a hard time imagining that they could remain as a coherent group in the long term. So, in short, I would definitely recommend picking up this graphic novel based on the promise of the series which is established in its origin here.
I would like to thank DC Entertainment and NetGalley for this review copy. “Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World” is available now.