Hellsing GN 1
Studio - Dark Horse
By Kohta Hirano
Dark Horse Staff
English Translation version provided by Dark Horse & Digital Manga Publishing
Editors - Tim-Ervin Gore & Fred Lui
Website - www.darkhorse.com
Graphic Novel 1
Where to begin?
Ok. By now you must be familiar with Van Helsing.
If not by the list of movies in the past (not to mention the present Hugh Jackman movie) that featured the man Helsing, and the actors who played him, then perhaps you're a Advanced Dungeons & Dragons player? Why is that Important? Because of AD&D's Ravenloft series, which had in it's "universe" a certain Van Helsing inspired character in it.
Of course there's the present incarnation of the Helsing saga, the new Van Helsing movie starring Hugh (try to forget he's also Logan when watching Van Helsing) Jackman.
Finally to top it all off we have Hellsing, from Japan.
Why is that so important? Because it is kind of connected.
While Hellsing has nothing to do with the man himself, Van Helsing, it is supposed to be his descendants who run a secret organization somewhere in the UK that protect Queen and Country from monsters of all sort. Yeah, the United States, Japan and the UK seem to have a market for secret organizations that fight the undead -- so what does Canada have -- Alpha Flight? Phht. They don't fight dead people, do they!
Ok. Serious now. The head of the family is a woman named Integra. After her father died and willed Hellsing over to her it seems she found herself the target of termination by her own uncle.
Yeah, "ownership" of those secret organizations is just too nice to pass up, especially if he's waited forever to have it passed to him only for it to get passed to someone else.
While hiding from him and his goons, Intergra stumbles upon a corpse hidden within the depths of Hellsing HQ -- corpse? It's supposed to be her protection against the worst. Turns out it IS her protection, after it drinks a bit of blood, because it revives into the ultimate work of over 100 years of undead research, Alcuard (which is basically Dracula spelled backwards).
Now, if you're familiar with the Helsing knockoff of Ravenloft (if no other version comes to mind from movies and so forth) then you know he's as good at the heavy research thing as the monster killing (hopefully they remembered that with Hugh Jackman‘s version and he doesn‘t just spend the entire movie running around killing every undead or monster thing that moves), so it's plausible that all his and his kins' research on the undead would make such a being. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the 4-1-1.
He deems the uncle unsuitable to lead, and -- yeah -- death follows. Integra becomes head of the family, and Alucard is her best weapon. Of course having Alucard armed with a big frickin' gun loaded with silver bullets helps a lot. And that's where we are now. I haven't seen the Anime so I can't speak of that, I'll just stick to the manga for now.
Graphic Novel 1
Let's see... first half is your basic kill the undead... except Alucard seems to pick up a "acolyte" after he pretty much shoots through a police woman hostage and then revives her as an undead new agent of Hellsing... whether she wants to be a new agent of Hellsing or not.
Then we start to see things that used to be reserved for the residents of Northern Ireland... mainly Catholics vs. Protestants. Or, in this case, Hellsing (Protestants/best in undead research spawned monster killing) vs. a hard hitting priest of the shadowy Section XIII (Catholics/best in technologically created monster slaying). Yeah, right. Ok. How did this turn from monster killing to Catholics Vs. Protestants anyway?
Apparently the monsters have been coming way too close to the "border" between Catholics and Protestants -- and yes, I don't get that either -- and Section XIII seems to think attacking their Protestant counterparts and their vampiric resources is best. Yeah, Shadowy Organizations, go figure.
One more story (not involving either Alucard nor "Police Girl") after that and we'll have to wait until next Graphic Novel to see what happens next. Ok. Breakdown time.
Hellsing Breakdown the 1st
What's Hot? - It's a nice solidly done read. Now I'm not the horror fanatic, and I don't usually like reading the stuff myself, but this is quite readable and nice to boot. For someone like me it's quite good and since I normally frown at the horror genre if I can recommend it then it must be good. Lots of positive hype and recommendations can't be wrong.
What's Not? - I'm sure it's essential to the plot, but what's with this whole Catholics vs. Protestants thing?
I don't know, I just don't know.
Moments to Remember? The action and dark humor of the title is quite memorable.
What to Ignore? ...ok... maybe you CAN'T ignore the Hellsing vs. Section XIII thing... but still... there better be a payoff concerning that later on down in this series or I'm going to be so disappointed about that.
Overall? As horror titles goes it's quite a readable title, and good in both artwork and plotting. Now I'm not one to be a big fan of the horror genre, but it's something worth looking into. And, now that Van Helsing is out in theaters and coming eventually to DVD it's even more worthwhile checking it out!
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