With a title that exciting The Hounds Of Hell was a must read for me this week after a visit to my local comic book shop.  Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

  • Philippe Thirault (Writer)
  • Christian Højgaard (Line art)
  • Drazen Kovacevic (Line art)
  • Roman Surzhenko (Line art)
  • Color Trade Paperback
  • 196 pages
  • 7.5 x 10.25 inches
  • ISBN 9781594650253
  • USD 19.95
A formidable group of mercenaries accept a secret mission for the Empress of the Byzantine Empire. Their skills, wills and courage are fully tested as they search for a legendary treasure hidden in the heart of the ancient underworld. Highly recommended for fans of CONAN THE BARBARIAN and RED SONJA.

 

I’m not sure where the recommendations are coming from but I can’t say they help.  This is an exciting adventure tale based historically in the 6th century but embellished with magic and mysticism.  Originally published as L’Enfer, four issues with three different artists but collected in English as one volume.

   

A group of mercenaries are reunited to claim a prize.  Lots of cinematic feel to it as we visit each in their current state and they get the call to gather again; reminded me of Silverado.  Over its 196 pages we get a full feel for each character, their motivation and interpersonal relationships with the rest of the team.  Real character development and exploration.  Dialogue is heavy enough to propel the character development but it’s no talking head book.  There’s a lot of action: this is a buddy action story at its heart.

The story is solid, right until the ending where it seemed to veer off.  We’re fed text when needed but Thirault also lets the artists develop the story through their panels.  Unfortunately we have four artists telling the story as Højgaard dropped out after the first two issues of the original series.  The pages displayed are his and I found his style to be my favourite.  The others don’t vary wildly away from this classic European style but it is apparent.

   

This is a solid lost in time tale of magic and swordplay set in real places with a quasi-historical background.  Fast paced action story, quality dialogue and overall enjoyment make The Hounds Of Hell a great take on “getting the band back together”.  No extras included but it’s a great value.