Creators Aaron Gillespie and Javier Garcia Miranda introduce Purgatori just “hanging” around Hell. Lucifer and Hel are having a little fun with her using all sorts of toys: a power drill, a morningstar, and even a butcher’s cleaver to name a few. However, their fun quickly turns into a fight over which one will be able to keep Sakkara of Alexandria, the Vampire Goddess. Take a walk through Hell and find out if it is good.
Purgatori #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
The disagreement between Lucifer and Hel gives Sakkara the perfect opportunity to goad Hel into a violent rage. Writer Aaron Gillespie and artist Javier Garcia Miranda introduce one of the most important aspects of Sakkara’s character – she derives pleasure from increasing amounts of pain and punishment. She enjoys the beatings and revels in Hel’s vicious attacks. Miranda has a wonderful panel depicting Hel transforming her arm into a club-like object with razor sharp teeth on the end. He is able to evoke an almost instantaneous transition between the weaponized right arm and her normal figure with splashes of blood coming from the right arm and a bloody ribbon encircling it as her arm morphs into the mutated form. The way Miranda positions her left arm up across her face as she twists her body to gain as much torque as possible to land a savage hit captures the tenacity and hate dwelling inside Hel.
However, not all of the artwork is as good as the aforementioned panel. Sakkara comes face to face with Cremator, a minion of Lucifer’s. There is a panel where Sakkara is looking up at him with his left arm hanging by his side. In the next panel, Cremator has grabbed her right hand and is holding it in his left fist. This leads one to believe Sakkara attempted to strike him but he easily stopped her. However, the way the panels are positioned together it appears Cremator has at least three arms. Two in normal human positions at his sides in the first panel, but a third protruding from his shoulder in the second panel. There is another sequence where Sakkara is being smacked in the face. In the third panel on the page she has already been flung to the ground, but it is in the fourth panel where Miranda illustrates her actually getting smacked upside the head with the book.
The story as a whole is nothing to write home about. The protagonist has disappointed her master and is rewarded not only with exile, but the loss of her powers. There are some decent touches when she discovers she has lost her powers in an encounter with a self-righteous trucker and his hooker. The scene is extremely graphic and details her wherewithal even with her powers being stripped. Some of the lines Gillespie uses are comical or disturbing depending on the reader. “You ain’t felt ecstasy till you’ve had the Holy Ghost thrust up into them guts.” You will have to check out the book yourself to see what the hooker’s response to this line was.
Is It Good?
Purgatori #1 was mediocre. It had some shining moments with several panels of Miranda’s artwork being stunning while others have the reader scratching their head. The story in general was nothing new or exciting, but certain parts of the dialogue were enjoyable.
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