Review: Heavenly Blues #1

People live. People die. The “good” are pleasantly escorted off to Heaven; while the rest unceremoniously rots in Hell. Hell – a world where torture isn’t retribution, it’s just hazing. Isaiah Jefferson fancied himself a dashing rogue; the greatest thief of the Great Depression, but a cruel betrayal left him dead in the dirt. Erin Foley was a scared grifter desperate not to be another child fed to the violent maw of the Salem Witch Trials. When they’re given the chance to leave Hell and spit in the face of judgment, can they face their demons and become the master thieves they were meant to be? Heavenly Blues reunites the team behind Shaman to deliver a mystical heist mash-up from beyond the grave.

I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Heavenly Blues #1 to read. I hadn’t read writer Ben Kahn and artist Bruno Hidalgo‘s previous work (at least I don’t think I have) so I came in clean without any expectations. And, when I got to the end, I immediately wanted to see what’s next.

Heavenly Blues #1 is an interesting comic in that the first half of it and the latter half feel so far apart, yet work so well together. The first half sets upt he second in non-obvious ways as we’re introduced to Isaiah and Erin as they debate the afterlife and torture and newly arrived individual. In this way we’re presented with a world familiar but not exactly what we’ve seen elsewhere. There’s Heaven and Hell and we’re told the general landscape as these two go back and forth.

And then we get to the second half which is the real set up for what’s to come. What starts as a philisophical discussion in many ways transitions into a heist story as we’re also presented with the background of our two protagonists. It’s an interesting shift and one that has me intrigued especially to see how and if Kahn continues this style of storytelling.

Hidalgo’s art is solid in many ways and reminds me of something, though I can’t quite put my finger on it all. There’s small details in the afterlife that tell a story on their own even if they don’t do anything but be present in the background. It’s the details here that adds so much.

The first issue is a solid one and continues Scout Comics’ record of putting out excellent indie comics that stand out for their uniqueness. I want to see what happens next in both story and art and really interested in how these two creators will present what’s to come. While this might be set up as a heist story, I’m expecting it won’t be quite as clear cut if this first issue is any indication.

Story: Ben Kahn Art: Bruno Hidalgo
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0  Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review