The Black Hand

Written by Erica Heflin
Art by Fares Maese, Edson Alves
Color by Fabian Cobos
Lettering by Wes Locher

Published by Flatline comics. You can contact them on their Kickstarter page about this title to purchase.

The hand that destroys.

In a far off land we have Victoria Addair, a warrior-woman who is armored and begins fighting the undead. Everything is cold and foreboding. The founder of the townships that mine this frozen landscape, Fadil Rahal, established himself some time ago.

A young boy who is heir to the Rahal line has visions of a ghost boy out in the cold, who beckons him on, wanting him to join him in the unrelenting winter landscape.

This sounds like an intriguing story line and for much of these four comics it does come to life. However, I was repeatedly thrown out of the story by quite a few red herrings in the story itself, and with some of the graphic/visual choices. There's a sense of accidental vagueness permeating the writing, additions of characters and back stories that hang in there like weeds while I'm trying to find the main thread to follow. There's numerous scene changes where the action doesn't clearly marry up to what's been going on previously. An awful choice in word balloons that puts a strange gradient of gray on either edge. Brown narration boxes.

It's unfortunate, and the small nitpicks one may have over the artwork's unevenness could have been forgiven had this story been more solid. There is the cool plot device of the 'black hand' itself that when a person has been changed to have one, they can destroy the undead with one touch of it.

Victoria Addair wanders around in these four comics before being given the task of protecting the heir from the ghost boy, after which this comic becomes much more readable. Perhaps if Erica Heflin could've been more focused in her writing and keeping it honed down to three characters (the power of three) The Black Hand could've been a better read.

Victoria Addair quips in one panel:

"Everyone around here knows what's happening. Everyone except for me."

Amen, sister.

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