The GeeksverseHelldorado #1

Helldorado #1
Published on Friday, October 28, 2011 by

Published by: Ape Entertainment
Written by: C. Michael Hall
Art by: Martin Coccolo
Colored by: Diego Rodriguez
Lettered by: Deron Bennett
Cover Art: Martin Coccolo w/ Diego Rodriguez
Editor: Andrew Sparrow, Weldon Adams, Kevin Freeman

I had a feeling this was a zombie story when I picked it up. I hadn’t heard anything about this book but the cover was interesting and I figured I’d give it a shot. Sure enough it’s a zombie story but luckily there seems like there is more to it.

Hall captures the tone of the old west. The inside front cover contains a piece that sets the stage and well reading it I could picture an old timer sitting on the front porch, missing a couple teeth, telling some kids the story. The words fit the image of the old west.

This is a zombie story but Hall adds some elements, the creature at the end and the chinease, that gives the story some more depth beyond just more zombies. Zombies have been done to death, literally, lately and a new book has to have some different elements to stand out. And not just some added story elements, it needs true character development and depth.

Helldorado has that. Hall introduces a bunch of characters and a couple different situations and all of them are fully developed, even with the relatively short time given in this issue. Even the gang of thugs have layers to them. There are some standard western stereotypes but Hall seems to realize that and plays around with those stereotypes.

There are even some cliches in the story that Hall plays with, given it a new twist. We meet the young Deputy, Bill, who ends up falling for the beautiful Miss Vinton. Bill is played up as the hero of the piece and we expect to see these two fall in love well defending themselves from the zombie invasion. That’s what we’d normally see but Hall shows that this isn’t a normal story real quick.

What you’d normally expect? Leave it at the door. Hall is crafting something new here. And crafting it well. The story has a good pace to it, spending enough time to lay out the groundwork and foundation of the characters. The reasons each are there feel natural, not forced, and the story moves at a good pace. The script is strong. He nails the old western dialect and the folks from back east that “don’t even speak English” have dialogue that fits the time period.

Coccolo’s art is very solid. He’s got a very good grasp of storytelling. The pages are well laid out, there was only one page that had layout issues. He does good with the background and clothing, capturing the feel of the old west perfectly. His characters are well drawn. The issue looks as good as it reads.

Helldorado #1 receives
4 out of 5

Yes it’s another zombie story, but it’s got some intriguing elements and a couple of twists.

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