HER INFERNAL DESCENT #1
Written by Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson
Art by Kyle Charles, Dee Cunniffe, and Ryan Ferrier
Published by Aftershock Comics
Release Date: April 18, 2018
“So loved was my marriage of heaven and hell. They granted me access in either to dwell. I traverse through both places unlike the rest. I know the former well, but the latter the best.”
When a mother who’s lost everything is given the chance to see her family once more, will she take the opportunity? Find out in this first issue of Her Infernal Descent!
Nadler and Thompson have done a great job adapting and retelling the tale of the Divine Comedy through the lens of a more updated setting. I love that the main character chooses to go on this journey not for someone she loved and only talked to twice, but for a family that she lost and wants forgiveness from.
I love that while her guide to Hell, William Blake, speaks in poetic metrical verse, she connects us to the story as the contemporary lens we view the world from, a woman who doesn’t immediately believe that she could visit hell, a woman who provides clever quips along the way. I also love the way Blake speaks, it prepares you for the epic that begins in this first issue, it brings a fairytale ominousness to the pages.
Charles’ art is wonderful. I like the homeliness of the mom comparatively to the exponentially fantastical world around her. The juxtaposition makes it more and more apparent that she doesn’t belong in this realm yet. I love how her transition into the underworld is conveyed, this edge she must crawl onto as if flipping a square die to the next side.
The gate of hell is a great splash. This celestial creation within a bizarre other dimension natural archway, the starry opening to Hell starkly contrasting with the fiery skies. I definitely love that the words scrawled on the arch are “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate”, which generally translates to “Abandon All Hope – Ye Who Enter Here”. Really brings an ominous tone, especially since our main character doesn’t know what the words mean, and it’s a nice allusion to Dante’s Inferno itself. It’s good work.
Cunniffe’s coloring truly brings out the horrors and alienness of the land the mother steps into. The fiery skies and the cosmic openings into other realms truly gives a dark tone to the comic which would not work without their coloring.
I like the work that Ferrier does with the lettering. The work is subtle, but truly does add to the sublime nature of the Divine Comedy. Making Blake’s speech bubbles inverted in color, making Charon’s speech bubbles shaky, making the font for quotes italicized and fancier – it all helps create the atmosphere and I appreciate that effort.
If you like Dante’s Inferno and think a reimagining of the tale would be intriguing, definitely read this. It’s a great start to a tragedy and I’m excited to read the next issue.
The Verdict: 9.0/10