Killing Hope #1 is a fast read for a comic. It’s the opening cinematic of an action movie, all action and chaos with little time to catch your breath in between. Hope is already on the run when the story kicks off, covered in dozens of little injuries accumulated from the events of the last few days. Writers Josh Barbee and Marlon Maloney do an incredible job in expressing Hope’s justified paranoia, exhaustion, and fear through the issue’s writing. Artist Alex Cormak’s art is beautiful. Every setting is a wonder to look at from the two-pump, middle-of-nowhere gas station to the open road across the Californian desert. You can see the fear in Hope’s eyes, feel her struggle every step of the way.
The people trying to kill her have no concern for their safety or their lives, which leads to unbelievable stunts as they focus on their one goal: to kill Hope. Each of these characters are as tragic as Hope herself, unwilling victims of the curse that surrounds her. Worse yet, we have a few moments with each of those characters before the curse takes effect. These aren’t zombies, evil mercenary soldiers, or aliens, these are honest, well-meaning people who lose their lives to this mystical influence. These little details only serve to raise the stakes of the story higher.
Along the way, Hope meets Danny, a drifter, and the only person who she’s run across who is immune to her curse. Danny is a wonderful audience perspective, playing catch up on Hope’s story, and is as horrified and clueless as any of us would be in that situation.
While a fast read, Killing Hope is incredibly intense and so very violent, with one scene naturally rolling into another. It’s one of those rare reads that left me breathless at the end and cursing the lack of a second issue to continue the journey. At least, for now.
Killing Hope #1 is the first of a six-part story from Bliss on Tap Publishing. For more information, a preview of the comic, and where to buy, click here.
5 Insanity-Causing Curses out of 5