Her Infernal Descent #1

Writers: Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler
Artist: Kyle Charles
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: Ryan Ferrier
Publisher: Aftershock

Review by Anelise Farris

Her Infernal Descent #1 puts a modern twist on the classic Dante’s Inferno. Not only does it add social media and pop culture figures to this world, but it also gives us a whole new perspective: one mother’s journey into hell to save her family.

Right away we meet our protagonist: an older woman who is grieving the loss of her family. She doesn’t seem to have much to live for these days, but, on a trip to the attic, her whole world suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. Enter William Blake. Yes, 18th century poet of “Tyger Tyger, burning bright” fame. (Thompson and Nadler lovingly craft this figure as the rhyming fiend he is!) Blake invites her on a journey into Hell to find those she has lost.

The careful details imbued in the art from the first page of Her Infernal Descent #1 leave the reader feeling that it is not illogical for this woman to jump at the chance to change her life. Everything around her is crumbling, and her effecting inner monologue is both poetic and relatable for anyone who has experienced loss (probably everyone).

The coloring helps to bring this world together even further by creating the right otherworldly atmosphere and tone. The frequent use of 9-panel layouts was also a smart choice as it facilitates our movement through these worlds. My only complaint is that, although her sorrow and desperation are evident, I want to know more about this character and why I should be invested in her story to find her family.

Verdict: Buy it.

Her Infernal Descent #1 is a moving love letter to literature and popular culture, and I look forward to learning more about our character’s journey.

Available in stores Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

Anelise Farris
farranel@isu.edu
I'm a doctor that specializes in folklore and mythology, speculative fiction, and disability studies. Basically, I'm a professional geek. When not researching or teaching, I read; I write; I yoga; I travel; I play with my fur babies; and, I watch way too many (if that's a thing) horror movies.

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