Review – Hell House: The Awakening
How the hell has Hell House: The Awakening not caused a bigger uproar!? Published by Viper Comics, written by Chad Feehan and Ryan Dixon with art from Tsubasa Yozora the story is a subversive look at religion and particularly Christianity.
Every Halloween, hundreds of highly controversial, religiously themed “Hell Houses” open their doors across Middle America. During the first night of a Texas high school’s Hell House, a shocking and mysterious event occurs, leaving behind a small number of survivors. This motley crew is forced to battle their way out of the collapsing structure, while fighting against a terrifying and unspeakable force desperate to consume their very souls.
The comic debates Christian theology, how those who don’t share the same beliefs should act, hypocrisy (on all sides) and what happens when the Rapture really comes (with a bit of humor mixed in).
I really liked the smaller book format and the art’s pretty solid, but the story left me wondering out of what sick, twisted mind this spewed forth. There’s a lot I’ve seen but that didn’t stop me from giggling at just how off (in a good way) the entire comic is. And after all of the story, we’re left with one last kick by the writers in the final panel that got me to laugh out loud.
I’m sure a lot of people will say the comic is anti-Christian, but it’s not at all and actually holds up those that live what they preach really well. The other folks out there are the targets of the book, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.
Plot: Feehan and Dixon have put together a twisted story, and one I had no idea where it was going to go next. This is a theological debate wrapped in a horror story. While everything isn’t completely original, the story is pretty unique and entertaining. If you like horror comics or just want to read an interesting take on Christianity, look no further. Rating: 8
Art: Yozora’s art is interesting. There’s a bit of an “eastern” vibe to it, but it’s not quite anime. Even as a horror comic, the gore isn’t over the top. It’s easy to see a comic like this pile on the blood and guts but it never goes beyond where it needs to, and probably could of gone further. Everything looks really good and was understated in a good way. Rating: 7.75
Overall: I’d expect this comic to piss some people off. I’m a fan of this type of story as it makes you think and debate your own beliefs and evaluate if you’re a hypocrite like so many in the story. It does what a lot of horror stories force you to, think and questions society. This is my first comic from Viper Comics and I’m quite pleased I found the company. Now, bring on the second volume! Overall rating: 8
Page count: 96 pages Price: $9.95 Release Date: September 2010
Viper Comics provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.