Review: The Hollows #1
An all-new series from the creator of The Maxx and the co-creator of Zombies vs Robots! Sam Kieth and Chris Ryall transport you to a near-future Japan, where burned-out husks—the Hollows—wantonly devour souls throughout the city. Far above, a segment of society lives safely in giant tree-cities, but the problems below have a way of growing out of control…
The Hollows is a new four part miniseries created by Sam Kieth and Chris Ryall. The introductory issue is written by Ryall with Kieth providing art and Robbie Robbins handling letters. The story is a mix of several different genres. With such a mixture, does this story succeed or does it ring as hollow as the title?
The story is set in a decaying Japan. As the city has become too radioactive to live in, survivors have taken to the trees. Genetically engineered super trees have been designed to allow civilization to continue living in city-states way up high. The threat that has made humans take to new heights is the hollows. The hollows are irradiated husks that live off the life-energy of the living, literally feeding upon souls. Our main character is a scientist Craig who spends too much time at work. After he promises his wife he will return home with the jetpack scavengers return with supplies, he dons a flying apparatus of his own to look for things his family needs in the wasteland below. When he wears a low-tech wingsuit, he finds himself trapped in the city below. A rag-tag group of survivors find him and show him what life is like on the ground.
The plot of the story is crafted brilliantly by Ryall. The Japan setting helps add an almost mythological aspect to the story. The Hollows feels like a sci-fi, mythic/fantasy, steampunk tale. While the main threat is the hollows, it avoids feeling like a zombie horror story. The main crux is an emotional journey for our scientist. Facing the grim reality of life below, he must decide if he wants to remain isolated or give his help. The art is wonderfully handled by Kieth. The books art appears to be heavily influenced by the Japanese setting. The only thing you can fault the book for is its tendency to visually explain something. There are bubbles throughout the books pointing with arrows to show that an eye patch is a “hurt eye” or a blackened hand is a “burned hand.”
Bottom Line: The Hollows is a beautiful and emotional start to what promises to be an interesting series. Ryall and Kieth have cobbled together several genres to make one compelling tale. With an interesting story and stunning art, The Hollows has a strong start. This is one to watch out for 4/5
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