Hellsing Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Justin Rich
Review Date: Sunday, June 26, 2005
Release Date: Monday, March 01, 2004

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kohta Hirano
Translated by:Duane Johnson
Adapted by:

What They Say
A world of murder and mayhem, political intrigue and religious conflict, monsters and undead heroes boils beneath the radar of regular existence. And it’s bomb-grade business! There’s cute little police girl, Victoria, a recently turned vampire, who refuses to drink blood and become the real thing (but she’s still a darn good fighter); the super swank super-vampire Alucard, who hasn’t completely shown his abilities; and the old butler Walter, who’s got some tricks under his trousers as well. This is but a taste of the characters killing and being killed in Hellsing, and the action is just the beginning.

The Review
The front cover is bordered red with Hellsing in white lettering along the top and black kanji and a black crucifix inside the left hand side. Below the g of Hellsing is the volume number in gold encircled in black. Inside the border Alucard is brandishing his new gun the Jackal with Seras, having the Harkonnen slung over her shoulder, amongst a forest of cross tombstones and an ominous yellow moon in the upper left corner. The back cover has an exact replica of the Hellsing writing and volume number except they are both located within the top black bar. The volume information is in red with another black stripe on the bottom. This volume also includes a Cross Fire bonus story.

Hirano uses shadowing to infuse mystery into this volume, especially at the very end. There is once again a huge amount of gory action that fills each panel with a macabre style that you want to read on yet look away at the same time. But, Hirano is also able to lighten the mood with a quirky set of comedic panels too ease your heart rate down a few beats. The art highlight for this volume has to be Alucard’s first transformation and the proceeding battle that then ensued.

The SFX are not translated within the panels and are completely unobtrusive to any of the massive action and gore. Since Anderson barely shows up in this volume and the new German accented dialogue only covers one page the words are much easier to read this time. Yet, this isn’t going to last long with the millennium arc hitting full stride next volume, so enjoy the easy to understand conversation this time.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
Walter presents Alucard with the new gun he desired the Jackel as well as the Harkonnen cannon for Seras. Now the freshly equipped vampires of Hellsing are ready for more battle with the undead…or Catholics, whichever comes first. In this case it is vampires, for the Valentine Brothers are going to storm the Hellsing organization with an army of ghouls. Jan and his army plow through the lower level defenses in an attempt to make it to the conference room where the knights are meeting. Integra contacts her loyal servant Walter, who tells her that things will be handled. Alucard sits and waits for Luke while Seras and Walter go to stop Jan and protect Sir Integra.

Standing in the shadows Jan sees a mysterious figure who warns him to leave and then with his wires first cuts the cigar from his lips followed by slicing through a large portion of his ghoul squad like it was nothing. When Jan has his second battalion, hiding behind the safety of shields, step up to fire on Walter Seras turns the tables and shoots right through their armor. Then Seras tackles Jan and restrains him.

Meanwhile Alucard’s patience is waning as Luke finally arrives. After releasing a round into Alucard’s skull Luke thinks he has won, but Alucard is merely getting excited. Jan frees himself of Seras’ grip and calls for his new ghouls from the corpses of fallen Hellsing members to attack. His arm is ripped off by Walter and Seras starts to let her vampire power loose as she annihilates the new ghouls. The Alucard/Luke fight continues and Alucard decides it is time to raise the fun as he transforms into his dog form quickly disposing of the disappointing vampire foe. Jan makes it to the door where Integra sits and waits. When he accepts that victory is futile he sets himself ablaze and warns them that millennium is going to destroy them.

Seras is then sent to whip Captain Bernedette’s group into shape, while Integra goes to meet Father Maxwell the head of Iscariot at the Imperial War Museum. Of course, this leads to another Alucard/Anderson stand off but before blades and guns can clash again Seras leads a tour group right through the middle of them killing the mood for battle in both of them. Integra and Maxwell’s meeting finally transpires and the truth is brought into the light. The Vatican had aided the escape of a Nazi group to South America known as Millennium. Now their plan of creating the ultimate undead army seems to be coming to fruition.

This volume has tons of gruesome action to keep any horror or action fan glued to Hellsing. With the end of the Valentine Brothers we come to the point where Gonzo’s anime ends and on page 117 we see the foundation of the millennium arc being laid, for this guarantees to be one nasty ride of carnage and chaos. Plus how can you not enjoy an extremely amusing Anderson cameo? Hellsing continues to be an exquisite blend of multiple genres that leaves the reader hungry for the next installment.

Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 13.95
Pages: 186
ISBN: 1-59307-057-8
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left