Hinterkind, Vol. zzzzzzzzzz

When I was at PLA (Public Library Association Conference) this year, I picked up a poster from Vertigo for a comic series called Hinterkind.  The poster was pretty cool, with a big monster on the front and such, so I put it up in the teen space of our library.  While browsing the graphic novels available on Netgalley about a month later, what ho!  Hinterkind, Vol. 1 was available, and so I started reading the ARC of the TP.

Have I committed some great crime against comic book land?  I was hoping for something better coming off of hopeless Hopeless' mangling of Avengers Arena *massive shudder.*  Okay, so this was better.  I mean, it wasn't gouge-my-eyes-out-awful, but it also was not very good.

Unfortunately, Hinterkind fails in both plot and artwork (at least AA had semi-decent, rather crisp art. Mostly).

The Plot:  An unnamed plague-y type event wipes out most of humanity, and in 57 years, Earth reclaims what humanity has built.   Some humans, though, survived, and hide out in colonies from killer animal hybrids like zebra-deer and tiger-lions.  Oddly enough, these are not called ligers.

Yeah, this guy's favorite animal.

Anyway, these people live in Central Park, and they farm stuff, and at the beginning of the comic, they all talk with a vaguely Irish accent, which is extremely odd.  Odder still is that it disappears and reappears throughout the issues.  Prosper is a girl who wants to go out and hunt stuff, and her BFF Angus has suddenly sprouted a tail.  As you do.  The leader of their little community, Asa, who is also Prosper's grandpa, decides to go and find out what happened to an outpost in Albany.  As you may have guessed, this is a Bad Idea.  But whatever.  Nobody in this comic is smart.  Period.  

Of course, after Asa trots off, Prosper and Angus run away too (Angus because he is worried about what will happen when people find out he has a tail).  They battle a troll (under a bridge, naturally) but are rescued by a guy who looks kinda like Robin Hood crossed with Jared Leto.  They immediately trust him *massive eyeroll* but it turns out he is one of the sidhe, who are part of the titular "Hinterkind."  The sidhe (elves or fae) are like the super-Hinterkind, while all the ugly Hinterkind are marginalized and scorned.  They are mad at humans for existing and messing stuff up and so now they eat people.  There's a Sidhe Queen out in California doing some Zen-crystal-om-om stuff and trying to keep her daughter from usurping her and OH MY GOSH THIS IS SO BOOORING.  I cannot stir myself to write this summary in a way that makes it sound exciting, because it's really not exciting.  It's as banal as it sounds.

The dialogue is insipid: " 'No!' 'You can't stop me!' 'This isn't about you!' " and for seemingly no reason at all, randomly borrows from Indiana Jones: "It's not the years, honey; it's the mileage." (I corrected the punctuation because I couldn't bear the comma loss in the actual comic.  Ugh.)  Do not bring Indiana Jones into this.

Sometimes a trite story can be saved by the art.  Having seen the work of some most excellent artists in Artist's Alley at C2E2, this is rough and unpolished and confused.  It tries to be gritty and elegant at the same time and that just isn't working out.  The characters' faces and hairstyles change from panel to panel, and during the last third of the book, all of the battle scenes were pretty much incomprehensible except for the helpful "boom"s and "pow"s strewn liberally across the page.  

It's not often that I feel stranded by a comic, but I feel mentally stranded after Hinterkind.  I pretty much have no idea what just happened, or why someone felt the need to make it happen.  

Needless to say, I won't be reading any more of these.  Yikes.

A digital ARC was provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


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