Sunday, 10 May 2015

Hinterkind, Volume 1: The Waking World Review (Ian Edginton, Francesco Trifogli)

Hinterkind is the uneasy spawn of Sweet Tooth and Fables, both Vertigo books that were popular so Ian Edginton decided, why not smoosh them together? … Because you get Hinterkind, that’s why! 

It’s an arbitrary number of years in the future - let’s say 300,000, why not? - and humanity has become an endangered species. The Blight, a plague that wiped most of us out, has left the cities of the world ghost towns, the foliage reclaiming the architecture so places like Noo Yawk look like those gorgeous Cambodian temples covered in overgrown jungle. 

People have started mutating into animal-type hybrids; there’s an elf queen, hundreds of years old, who’s ruling a beach somewhere; there’s another elf hunter who, together with a cyclops, satyr, and gaggle of goblins, hunt humans to be sold as food; there’s another elf, this time a punk, who’s also hunting humans because there’s no other way of tying her in with the main storyline; and because there isn’t enough loud nonsense going on, throw in some patchwork human morlocks who live underground and also do terrible things to humans and finally - vampire sky pirates!! 

Too much, guys, way too much. And none of it really meshes either - it feels like Edginton had two or three different stories, stuck them together, and hoped they would sort of work, but they don’t. The post-apocalyptic humanity thing works fine by itself but the humans slowly turning into animals thing alongside it is much too similar to Sweet Tooth. Then the mythic creatures appearing feels too much like Fables but mixed in with the Sweet Tooth stuff, it’s just a mess! 

Where did these fairy tale people come from? Are they the result of the plague? It’s implied they’ve been hiding away for years and only emerged once humanity perished - where were they hiding? Oh, it doesn’t matter, I don’t really care. And that’s the thing: there’s a lot of world building going on here but none of it adds up to anything original - it’s just not developed very well. It’s all stuff cobbled together from other sources that we’ve seen before. 

There’s not really a plot. Prosper Monday (terrible name) is the granddaughter of Asa who decides to look for some humans that have gone missing on a hunting expedition or something. They get caught up with the various evil elf people and their associated fairy tale colleagues, and Prosper and Asa are tossed about from one group to another. 

Neither characters are that interesting, nor are any of the various factions. Hunters hunting is too simplistic while the elf queen’s storyline is the same old dreary power-grab. Nobody is particularly likeable, the art is quite horrible - there are streaks in the colouring that looks awful, plus Prosper and the elf hunter Jon Hobb look very similar so it’s sometimes unclear, with the murky art, who we’re seeing in a scene. Francesco Trifogli’s covers are ok but the interior art is rushed and sketchy. 

Hinterkind is just awful. A confused and boring collision of excessive, contrived, bad ideas, terrible characters, and a directionless, stop/start plot with too many strands, none of which engage. Avoid this disaster like the plague in the book - another swing and a miss from Vertigo!

Hinterkind, Volume 1: The Waking World

1 comment:

  1. I read this a while back, and I'm glad to see that you and I are in complete agreement....It was a hideous mess. Vertigo, we hardly knew ye!