COMIC REVIEW: Calavera #1 (Hangman Comics)

Back from the dead and none too pleased about it, Hangman Comics Issue No.1 of Calavera: The Undead sees its female eighties rocker heroine traipsing about the world of 2012 on a quest to stop an evil necromancer and his lackey from taking over the world!

Sound a little over the top? It is.

But surprising enough, it works.

With story and art by Nevin Arnold, the cheeky Canadian creates a campy zombie-rocker rag that fuses good laughs with a deceptively simple but remarkably wicked and dense plot that keeps the pages turning.

The mash-up is certainly unique: an eighties rocker gal (think Return of the Living Dead’s Trash minus the morbid) wakes up in the year 2012 (of all times) to find out that the dead are suddenly rising all across town and she and the voice inside her head are somehow connected to the nefarious events. It’s a smart, hip, tongue-in-cheek, slightly at times too meta-comic about a smart, hip, tongue-in-cheek strong female heroine (who also happens to be a risen dead, albeit for different reasons) that has a very real and very engaging personality.




Arnold does an excellent job of penciling and coloring the story to match the snarky tone inherent in the character of Calavera (whose name is a Mexican word for a celebratory human skull treat made of candy or sugar) but also knows how to turn on the dark when the story takes a needed twist. It’s a comic whose lead is strong enough to be felt on-panel or off, but Arnold goes out of his way to give enough detail and care to all the characters, making the entire world genuinely likable and engaging.  The facial expressions and composition along with the layout of each page is also exceptionally well executed and the style, while certainly given to ones tastes, perfectly matches the flavor (i.e. Muy caliente).

Overall there is not a lot missing from this first issue and Calavera is certainly an encouraging addition to the world of female leads. She and Arnold have the potential to become truly memorable figures in the zombie genre if the rest of the series follows the format they’ve laid out in the first issue. Calavera: The Undead No. 1 is definitely a great and deadly read, highly recommended.



Rating: 4/5

GS Blogger: Jesse B

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One comment

  1. Great review. I completely agree that it’s a great first issue.

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