Hellsing Vol. #01 (Mania.com)

By:Justin Rich
Review Date: Saturday, May 14, 2005
Release Date: Monday, December 01, 2003



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

What They Say
There’s a secret organization somewhere in England created to defend the Queen and country from monsters of all sorts. Enter Hellsing, an agency, long in the tooth, with the experience, know-how, and…er…equipment to handle the problems that arise when vampires, ghouls, and the like clamber from the darkness. “What equipment?” you may say. How about another vampire, souped up by generations of study and refinement, armed with a big pistol loaded with special silver bullets? That oughta do the trick.

The Review
Packaging:
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 is a left side view of Alucard with his left hand and gun showing in front of a full moon with a cross dangling out of his mouth. 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.

Art:
Hirano’s ability to balance the light and dark in Hellsing brings something new to each panel. The detail put in, especially in the first Alucard/Anderson figh, keeps your eyes continually roving over the page taking it all in a little at a time. The amount of blood in Hellsing is also done in numerous ways from a single drop clinging to Seras’ glove to wall covering splatter. But each variation brings a different expression and the pulse race.

Text/SFX:
The SFX are not translated within the panels and are completely unobtrusive to any of the massive action and gore. The problem with the translation of Hellsing revolves around the dialogue of the non-British characters, especially Anderson. Father Anderson’s dialogue is so heavy on accent that I find myself rereading most of his comments so that I can get what he is saying. This is one facet of Hellsing that does take getting used to as you read the volumes.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
In the small English village of Chedder a vampire has systematically taken over with no one to stop his evil outbreak. The police have had no luck and only one girl is left trying to quell the ghouls rampaging around her. As she is about to face the same fate as her companions someone interrupts, his name is the immortal Alucard, the trump card of the Hellsing organization. The vicar has his ghouls open fire rattling Alucard with bullets but he rises up from the puddle of blood he was in and quickly disposes of them. The vicar grabs the last survivor and after finding out if she was a virgin Alucard shoots through her lung and finishes off the vicar. As she is dying he gives her the choice to die there or become one of the undead.

The second order starts with Integra’s father passing and leaving her his title of knight and head of Hellsing, but her uncle was intent of ridding himself of the competition stealing Hellsing for himself. Her father had told her a secret that not even her uncle knew, for is she was in dire straits go to the forgotten dungeon and she listens to his advice. But the only thing in there is a bound corpse. Soon her uncle and his followers find Integra and he fires a bullet that grazes her arm splattering blood onto the body next to her. The sweet Hellsing blood revitalizes Alucard as he regains life he swiftly attacks her uncle’s men, for Integra and only she is his master, Sir Integra the only true heir to the Hellsing organization.

The next problem is a pair of vampire lovers on a bloodbath but Alucard and Seras have no problem destroying these two low level vampires, but the real problem is coming the arch nemesis of the Hellsing organization their catholic counterparts Section XIII. On the outskirts of Bradick Alucard and his “police girl” are dispatched to take care of a vampire and his ghouls, but they weren’t the only ones sent. Seras is using this mission simply as training from her master until she takes a blade through the neck. Father Anderson is going to destroy any undead whether they work for Hellsing or not.

Alucard the immortal vampire from Hellsing is now going to square off against the number monster slayer of Iscariot Father Anderson. Anderson stabs Alucard and Alucard shoots a bullet into Anderson’s forehead and he goes to comfort the wounded Seras, but the fight is far from over because Anderson is human with a vampire’s regeneration ability! After getting up he uses his sword dance technique and cuts off Alucard’s head. After killing Alucard he turns his attention back to finishing off the wounded Seras who attempts to make it out of the building just as Sir Integra enters firing and breaking Anderson’s latest set of knives. Anderson kills Integra’s men easily and she pulls her sword to defend herself from his attack. While staving off his knives Alucard’s body turns into bats and he is once again reborn. Anderson admits that all he can do now is cut off his head or stab him through the heart and he needs different tools to end this battle so he vanishes within a paper vortex to fight another day.

Comments
The first volume of Hellsing bounces around quite a bit from the present to the past but the one thing that is consistent is the action. We get to dig into the characters a little bit in this first installment but the difference really show and the one thing that is shown for sure is the that Protestant Hellsing and the Catholic Iscariot are going to be heading for more showdowns in the near future. There is not a real sense of a continuing arc yet but orders here are very enjoyable. Sitting down and spending some time with the blasť Alucard makes me look forward to the next volume.



Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 13.95
Pages: 204
ISBN: 1-59307-056-X
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left