"Hexed" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Originally published as Hexed #1 - #4
Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrated by Emma Rios
2010, 115 Pages
Trade paperback released on March 1st, 2011
Supernatural thievery is working out well for Luci Jenifer Inacio Das Neves (aka “Lucifer”). She's got a steady gig working for the art gallery owner Val Brisendine, picking up a variety of trinkets and rare items such as an angel's wings. When her past catches up to her in the form of a former boss she bailed on, costing him three hundred grand, she finds herself in danger of losing everything she holds dear, including Val. Oh, and her soul is promised to the Keeper of Secrets known as the Harlot. Welcome to Hexed.
Creator / writer Michael Alan Nelson wastes no time establishing the world of Hexed. This is a four-issue mini-series and Nelson crams it with the information you need to know right away. No panel is wasted. Lucifer comes into the story with a lot of baggage. Not all of it is revealed in full, but you're given just enough background to want to learn everything about this mysterious thief. She went through something really rough in Massachusetts some time ago and has only recently gotten herself to a point where life is okay. Then supernatural mob boss Dietrich shows up to even the score.
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Lucifer sets out to steal the Carasinth, a strange weapon capable of killing anyone in the world as long as you whisper their name into it. It looks like a sinister version of the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter. This begins as a basic heist before escalating into a potential supernatural gang war with Lucifer in the middle. To her credit, she's able to figure out ways to get herself out of a jam without having to rely on her bag of mystical tricks to get the job done.
Artist Emma Rios is a visual mastermind. Hexed is a fantastic example of her talents and it's no surprise that she went on to illustrate a bunch of books for Marvel. The design for Lucifer is a great match for her character. She's put up walls around herself and keeps people back, which can be seen in the way she dresses when out in the world with a hooded jacket zipped up to cover most of her face. She's beautiful but reserved, and most of all, she's intelligent. She uses everything she has to outwit her enemies and marks to get what she wants. If that includes calling some of Dietrich's henchmen child molesters while in front of a police station, so be it.
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What really stands out in Hexed is the Harlot. Although she only appears for a few pages, she makes a lasting impression. She looks like a cast off from a Day of the Dead parade, with pale skin and flowers in her hair. She's almost unsettling to look at as her limbs and fingers are just a bit too long. This gives her an unnatural style that goes hand-in-hand with her character. I'm still not entirely sure as to what the Harlot is, but I'm certain she's terrifying and definitely someone that I don't want to cross.
Hexed introduces a strong, intelligent female lead that lurks in the underbelly of the supernatural world. I like to imagine that Lucifer roams in the dark alleys and shady places that Buffy wouldn't dare tread. Although she's smart enough to think herself out of most situations, she may not be able to run away from her past.
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