For the past few years I have been massing comics on my Comixology app thanks to free comics that I have massed and one of them was a comic called Helsing and I originally thought it was going to be a rather bad comic, but after re-reading it a few times when I have been at work, I was wrong about it. I have always been a big fan of vampires and Van Helsing so I thought why not decide to review the first issue of Helsing from Zenescope.
The cover for this issue is rather decent, showing out titular characters brandishing a crossbow with what appears to be a silver arrow with one hand and a stake in her other hand. The other covers are okay with one cover appearing to be possible Dracula on one cover, an action shot. But there are two covers that are rather bad with one of them being a swimsuit variant from C2E2 and a cover that has Liesel standing, with her back facing the reader and her legs spread apart showing off her butt.
The issue opens with a text recap on what happened to Liesel Van Helsing previously for people who are just jumping on to the series, which I do think is a nice idea. Basically, it says that she was trapped in a dimension called the Shadowlands where she was stuck there for a century, but she managed to find a way out and is now living in the modern day fighting against evil along with other characters from the previous series. The story begins with Liesel looking over a new schematic of what appears to be a gun, along with a stake as well as three people walking through a graveyard. Liesel narrates throughout going over what she is doing, that being creating a new weapon to deal with vampires and that it takes a few attempts to get it right. The vampires meanwhile start resurrecting a corpse and we see Liesel coming up behind two of them stabbing them through the back piercing their hearts. The lead vampire notices who she is and he tries to run away from her but she manages to pull her new gun on him and fires, shooting a large stake, as well as seeing her creating the special stake round with a few special capsules. The stake pierces the vampire by punching a hole through his chest thinking that he is okay, but he then spontaneously combusts. Liesel narrates that she created additions to the stake with having two separate vials on the round with one being silver and the other being a concoction that mimics UV light causing him to burn from the inside. But she then remembers that the vampires had resurrected a corpse and that she should go and take care of it.
I should also talk about Liesel’s costume that she wears for the issue. Her costume consists of a black and red corset, a black duster jacket, short pants with fishnet stockings with boots and topping it off a top hat with goggles. I do like the costume since that it does go with the motif of her being adapted for steam-punk.
After dealing with the vampires she heads back to her house where she discovers a package that we see that is addressed to her, but she just ignores it and she gets a text from somebody named Hades and she realises that she had forgot that she was supposed to meet up. She then narrates on how much dating has changed in the past few centuries since its went from courting and marriage pursuits to texting and sending selfies. She arrives at the address he sent her and it turns out to be a cupcake shop. And we then get a few rather confusing panels with Hades relaxing on a chair with relaxing his feet on another chair and then in the next panel there are two seats at the table with Hades sitting up properly. The two of them converse over why he picked the cupcake shop, then she asks him why he keeps flipping between accents, in which we find out that he had abandoned the underworld and lived life on the surface. But she then asks him a rather weird question, that being how many people he has killed and they go off on a weird tangent and she then leaves with her saying that she doesn’t think that they should see each other but then that seem to then be changed and he asks to go and see his favourite film but she says no and leaves the shop. But then Hades gives us a number of people that he has killed that being 300,507 and that the last that we will see of Hades for the rest of the issue.
Liesel, now back at her home, she is reading a book and she then gets a phone call from a person called Sela, who used to live with her but had moved out, and they have a catch up and Liesel brings up the package that she had found when she came back from her testing. But she then realises that it has her name on it so she decides to open it up and she finds a book in it that seemed to have made her happy and she hangs up the call from Sela, in which it turns out that the book was in fact the Journal of Abraham Van Helsing, her father.
This then leads to a story heading to a flashback focusing on a take from the journal. We see a man dressed in brown coat with a green suit vest walking down a busy street in what appears to be New York and Abraham narrating about taking down a person, called Walt Melville as it appears that Melville is a vampire. Melville tires to light a pipe and the man that we saw walking down the street gives him a hand with the light and he walks into a hotel. The man then jumps through a window, that being on the second floor, wielding a stake in his hand and stabs Melville through the chest but something appeared to be rather different than what has happened before. The mist that usually appears from the hole didn’t appear and the Melville had become a mist form and it then escaped him. But that is how tale had ended since that it appears that the journal had some missing pages. Liesel annoyed with this throws the journal on the ground, something that she was happy to have, then notices that there was a bookmark in the book with the name of a bookshop that’s in Rome.
This then leads Liesel to take a Red-Eye to Rome to find out who had sent her the journal and we just see her still wearing civilian clothing. But we then cut over to outside the Coliseum decked out in her Vampire Hunting gear. The issue ends with three women in white dresses noting the arrival of Liesel, with one saying the reckoning has begun.
Overall with the issue I did like it, the only thing that I found to be a bit of a disconnect was the segment with Hades, it seemed to be rather different from the rest of the issue and I think for new readers it would seem like a weird thing. However, with that being rather weird, this does make me want to read the rest of the series as well as diving to previous instalments from Zenescope since that it isn’t often that I read from other franchises besides DC or Marvel or Boom! Studios.