First of all, the title grabs you by the balls. How could you pass up a book called OH, HELL? It already has its claws in you, but does it succeed in keeping them there?
This is the story of a group of kids who have been sent to a special kind of juvie by their parents. Instead of an actual institution, this juvie hall is really Hell. Not metaphorically. No, writer G. Wassil means it literally. It is generally accepted that these kids are problem children, but it is unclear as to the purpose of sending them Down There. Are these demons supposed to whip these kids into shape? Or is this just a trash receptacle for lost causes?
That’s the main problem with this issue: while it introduces the situation, it doesn’t introduce the conflict. As a result, it leans too heavily on the characters. If a writer has great characters, that shouldn’t be a problem. While Wassil doesn’t have weak characters, he doesn’t have them fleshed out enough to hold one’s attention yet. He falls back on a few clichés, hoping that they’ll fill the gaps.
It should be noted that this was originally a webcomic, and it’s now being collected in physical form. As such, it’s not structured like a regular comic book. It ends on the drop of a hat. There is tension there, but it’s not the cliffhanger it should have been.
Artist Dave Hamann fares a bit better. His work is perfect for this kind of story. It leans in a bit of a Ryan Ottley direction, but that’s not entirely bad. This is essentially a horror book for high schoolers.
This book should probably be viewed from a greater perspective. There isn’t enough in this first issue to truly judge it. Maybe approaching it from the webcomic angle would be better, but from an issue by issue basis, it has promise, but isn’t impressive.
OH, HELL #1
Written by G. Wassil
Illustrated by Dave Hamann
Published by Oh, Hell Comics