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Ex Sanguine: The Hollow Man #1 [Dark Horse Comics] Review

Posted on October 16, 2012 AT 07:17am

Tim Seely is well known in the comic book community for being an all-around awesome creator of comic book content. Seely strikes again with the new Dark Horse Comics miniseriesEx Sanguine: The Hollow Man, which follows two creatures of inexplicable horror. One vampire, one serial killer, and a whole lot of violence looks to be in store for future issues of this series.

Saul Adams, a man who has lived centuries, is now just going through the motions, uncaring, unamused, and completely unmotivated. While he does what he needs to survive (a task that is as violent as it is necessary), Saul barely knows who he is, where he is or even what year it is by the time the story picks up. That is until he’s taken under suspicion for a series of murders throughout his community, committed by a culprit known as the Sanguine Killer.

Seely, along with Joshua Scott Emmons introduce an interesting story full of not only horror and violence, but of intrigue and suspense, something that is found lacking, at least in this intensity, in many other Dark Horse books (not to say those books are sub-par, they just lack this dimension). Saul himself is painted in an interesting way, part lethargic, run down being, part bloodthirsty monster. While the reasons for his implications at the end of the first issue were presented well, there was little in the way of explanation as to why he was a main focus to begin with, a seemingly normal, boring man wandering about at a time where people were being found dead all over the place. As a way to introduce a character into the main focus, it’s a bit lacking, but does serve its purpose.

The artwork, done by Seely and Carlos Badilla (Emmons contributed on lettering, and Dave Stewart gave Seely a hand on the cover), is superb. Dark Horse, like all other major publishers, have a distinct style to them, with Dark Horse’s mainly focused on dark colors and the use of well-presented horror techniques. Seely veers from that path a bit here, presenting something a bit more refined, with a brighter spectrum of color than many other works published by the company. It’s a bit more vibrant without losing the gore or  violence, and splices them in just the right way. Hopefully this trend continues, and even improves, in further issues.

Summary: While the book follows many horror guidelines, the suspense of the title, even in just the first issue, shows some variation from common formulas, giving the title a feel all its own. While a few parts of the writing felt a bit forced, the artwork was incredibly well done, creating a blend that works very well in a horror format.

The Good: Terrific Artwork, Interesting Story

The Bad: Writing Can Feel Forced

The Ugly: Brutal Kills (Ugly In A Good Way)

Score: 9.0

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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