Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hinterkind Volume 1: The Waking World

Written by Ian Edginton
Art by Francesco Trifogli

            Apocalypse fiction seems to be big right now.  The zombie outbreak is the most popular, but hell, turn off the power, kill everybody with a plague, launch some nukes, whatever you want, people are into the destruction of humanity.  Hinterkind takes a twist on it by ending humanity and marking the start of fantasy, but there’s not much past that.
            Prosper Monday is one of the citizens of one of the last surviving colonies after a mysterious disease wiped out most of the world.  When her grandfather goes off to find out why another colony in Albany isn’t responding, she goes on a journey of her own when it turns out her friend Marcus has grown a tail.  And the two groups both end up finding out new information about the new world: as Mother Nature has taken over, trolls, goblins, elves, and every other fantasy creature have come out of hiding.
            The concept is definitely interesting.  It’s always nice to have a real threat in the post-apocalyptic world, and this is a serious threat as it quickly becomes apparent that humankind is not prepared to fight monsters.  There’s only one problem with it: the monsters end up outshining the human characters.  This is a threat in anything with more exotic characters (see: the Transformers franchise), and whenever it hits, it hits hard.  At the end of the book, not only did I not really care about the humans, but I couldn’t tell you anything about them.  Who is Prosper?  I couldn’t really tell you much besides “she’s the main character”.  Meanwhile, shifts over to California, where the elf queen and her daughter are, end up much more interesting.  The monsters who look to capture the humans for money are good antagonists.  Hell, even a secret military base full of people who have become monsters unto themselves are more interesting than the main characters.
            The plot here also just kind of meanders along, bringing up interesting details and then dropping them.  I want to know why Angus has a tail, but at some point, the comic just pushes it to the side.  I want to know how the monsters hid before the apocalypse, but the book just details a little before moving on.  I want to know Prosper, but she’s basically just along for the ride.  There were times when I was able to go along too, to just enjoy things as they were going, but even then, I felt like the book could be more and it wasn’t.

            Hinterkind is a classic case of an interesting concept that’s done in by a less than great execution. 

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