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There are the certain comics that everyone talks about. Saga, Sex Criminals, Fables, most of the cape books. Mostly when I discover a book that no one talks about, it usually means I missed the proverbial boat. Like Planetary, Transmetropolitan, and Superman, All of which I discovered past their prime.
Hexed, however, just finished a few weeks ago and I haven’t really heard anything about it. That sucks! It’s a pretty cool book! It’s weird, I’m not exactly sure why it hasn’t had its time in the sun. Perhaps because it was published by Boom! Studios it’s not on anyone’s radar? Maybe it was middle of the road for most people. Not bad, but not outstanding either.
I think it deserves some recognition. It’s a little unfair that it gets such little recognition. It should be ranked at least amongst the better Image titles. Let me explain way.
The book has a lot of readability. Sure, the dialogue can get a little cardboard-y in places, but for the most part everything is top form. The story is engaging and fast paced. I never really felt bored by any of the issues. Each one had something cool or interesting to offer.
The use of magic felt fleshed out. You could feel there were rules, each item, each spell had a purpose and a weight. The creatures were varied and imaginative. A lot of imagination went into each of the magical items. None of them were really rehashes of what we’ve seen before. It all had a certain freshness to it.
Hexed featured a cast almost entirely made up of women. Each of the characters were three dimensional, they felt different. Thankfully, the book never fell into the trap of trying too hard to create “strong female characters” that they plunged into the territory of embarrassing Mary Sues who pushed the “DO YOU SEE, WE ARE WOMEN” too hard. It all felt natural. Real characters interacting in a realistic way.
The art is pretty interesting, definitely on par with what Image and even the Big Two were putting out. Hexed did suffer from a case of the Same Faces. Every woman more-or-less had the same kind of face. Now that I think of it, they also had a similar body type despite age or lifestyle (except for the monster women, of course). It’s probably the biggest knock against it.
The action was really fluid and often times beautiful to look at. The artist, Dan Mora, really took advantage of the magic angle. The images of the spells are kinetic and vibrant. It’s a bright, poppy world where most would try to create a dark, grimy, horrific environment as a backdrop for the story.
It’s hard to really pin down the biggest strength of the art. It works so well as the “skin” of the story. The story itself is this big, pulpy magic adventure epic and the art is this big, loud style that borders on the exaggeration of cartoons or anime. It’s a big plus.
I would recommend Hexed to most audiences, honestly. It’s a lighter read, heavy on action without skipping out on story. It’s got solid characters and an interesting, fresh take on magic. I’m still not sure why it isn’t talked about more. Is there something I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below.