Review: Hellmouth #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Creator: Joss Whedon
Writers: Jordie Bellaire and Jeremy Lambert
Artist: Eleorona Carlini
Colorist: Chris Peter
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Hellmouth #3 begins with Buffy and Angel face to face with Dru. They thought she was the big bad, but it turns out there is something bigger and badder than she. The Hellmother is real and she is one bad mother. Dru does her best to cause a rift between Angel and Buffy by telling Buffy the truth (sort of) about what is happening topside and who (sort of) Angel really is. She does use his real name, so…
During the chaos, Angel finds an Oracle called Augie who waxes poetic about the Hellmother and tells Angel what his inner desires are. Angel, of course, wants to be human again. Augie says he knows a way to help Angel get that exact thing but it will be unpleasant. More unpleasant than being a Vampire? Hmmm. We don’t actually see what the big trick is, but we know it is bad and we can expect it will be a big part of Angel’s solo book.
Jodie Bellaire and Jeremy Lambert are simply masters of banter. Hellmouth #3 is packed with that Whedonverse banter we all know and love. The dialogue crackles. Nothing feels contrived. It is really just so fun. However, the star of the show is artist Eleonora Carlini. She, along with colorist Chris Peter, makes this book come to life. They make spending time in the Hellmouth seem like a good time. Well, not a good time exactly, but they just make it look special. Eleonora’s take on Drusilla is more evil than crazy and I think that does the character justice. It is easy to just give Dru a dreamy distant stare and call it good, but that is not the case here. She is driven and she has focus. Regardless of her human or vampire face, Drusilla has her own agency and that is exemplified by Carlini’s brilliant work. Check out the middle panel below. Just amazing.
I don’t have any complaints about Hellmouth #3. It is wordy when it needs to be wordy. The action does the talking when it needs to do the talking. All around, this is a perfect issue.
I really do love this story. I always felt Buffy was best when Angel was there. I get why they have different lives here and I don’t expect them to cross over a ton in the new Boom! universe, but I do think that the creative team is making the most of their opportunity to have them fight back to back and side by side. Honestly, if one had to only read one book in the Buffyverse, this would be the one to read. So far, Hellmouth has been on point (pun intended).