Monday, July 24, 2017

Helena Crash - an IDW mini-series

Have you ever picked up a book or comic for a reason that others may find completely crazy? Well, most will likely think I'm out of my mind for picking up this particular comic for the reason I did - but I'll be straight up about it - the only reason I bought this mini-series from IDW comics is because of the name.

Helena Crash.

Those who know me will know how much I love the character, Huntress, from DC Comics.  Originally, she was the daughter of the Earth-2 Batman and Catwoman, and her name ... drumroll please ... was "HELENA" Wayne. So, because of this, the name "Helena" has special meaning for me. And, so, when I saw this series, the name along was enough to attract my attention, and I thought, why not.

Then I got the first issue through my subscription service and looked at the art.  UGH!  Definitely not my cup of tea. The less than proportionate people, the oddly drawn faces and heads, the almost child-like drawn backgrounds. What was I thinking?! But, I bought it, so I figured I might as well read it. And right off the bat, writer Fabian Rangel, Jr.  introduces readers to his title character, Helena Crash - a reckless, carefree black market delivery person who manages to get the people in this dystopian future what they want most - - coffee!  You see, in this future, coffee is illegal due to the nosedive that the environment took, and Helena happens to have a contact who manages to stay under the radar by growing and manufacturing his coffee underground - literally.

In a world now populated with aliens and humans alike, Helena (who is an orphan with no last name - she never knew her parents - so she took her last name from the thing that happens to those who try to chase her down - "CRASH!") tries to work outside the law, but stay neutral and out of the turf wars - such as that between the White Demon and Rojo. Unfortunately, circumstances conspire against her, and Helena finds herself thrust into the middle of their war whether she likes it or not.

Rangeltells a hard-hitting action tale that has its funny moments, as well as endearing ones, and well, before I realized it, I was thoroughly enjoying the tale.  Each issue is packed with story, and while there are several subplots that don't necessarily see resolution (leaving it open for more stories in the future I hope!), the main story sees a great resolution.  It definitely leaves me wanting for more - Helena is an intriguing character with a mysterious past, a sarcastic, but caring side, and is full of spunk and determination.

And the art - - well, it grew on me.  By the end, I realized the art had nearly as much impact on the story as the writing did.  Sure, it's not your standard art, but in some ways it reminded me of a style that would have been used for storytelling in that old MTV television show, Liquid Television.  So, I applaud IDW and Rangel for going with Warwick Johnson Cadwell as the artist for this series - definitely a pefect fit for the story and the characte.

RATING:  8 Gatling guns out of 10 for some high-speed, action-packed storytelling with characters you quickly learn to root for and love!

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