Nancy in Hell On Earth 4 (October 2012)

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The issue takes a while. Torres paces it well and he pads it out a little. There’s a lot of confusing narration from the bad guy to muddle through. But it’s worth it.

Even with the weak plotting, undercooked characters and Lorenzana’s underwhelming artwork, On Earth makes it.

Why?

Because Torres has got a great protagonist with Nancy–who doesn’t even have a character arc, she’s just trying to stay alive; he writes her well enough to make the series worthwhile.

Torres also rewards the reader with the finish, though not entirely. Of the three epilogues, only one’s any good but it’s so good, it makes up for the rest. One’s obligatory, another’s philosophically interesting but narratively unrewarding.

But the good one? It’s a great one. And it gets one immediately anticipating more comics from Torres.

Hopefully next time with a decent artist. Lorenzana did On Earth no good.

CREDITS

Writer, El Torres; artist, Enrique Lopez Lorenzana; colorist, Fran Gamboa; letterer, Malaka Studio; editor, C. Edward Sellner; publisher, Image Comics.

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Nancy in Hell On Earth 3 (June 2012)

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I didn’t get it last issue, but some of the death row inmates are stand-ins. I noticed Danny Trejo and Quentin Tarantino. Sadly, I noticed them on some of the multiple full page spreads. There are four or five of them in the issue, which isn’t good. Lorenzana doesn’t compose those shots well. He can’t handle the anarchy.

Sadly, Torres loses most of the comic’s personality too. There’s no central character this issue; Torres needs to plot against one or another, so he roams over the cast. Without Nancy to drive the issue, Torres gets lost.

It’s too bad the issue falls apart, since Torres did have some good scenes. He just doesn’t have a plot to go along with them.

Torres doesn’t make the characters worth carrying about, except maybe Lucifer and Nancy. But it’s hard to care about them given the plot’s silliness.

Still, could be worse.

CREDITS

Writer, El Torres; artist, Enrique Lopez Lorenzana; colorist, Fran Gamboa; letterer, Malaka Studio; editor, Richard Boom; publisher, Image Comics.

Nancy in Hell On Earth 2 (March 2012)

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I’m not sure Nancy in Hell could exist without Garth Ennis. Torres isn’t ripping him off precisely, just his approach (and attitude) to afterlife stuff.

It’s just derivative and it’s a fine derivation. Torres bypasses most of the previous issue’s problems–the annoying cop ceases to be annoying with Nancy around to drive the story. She’s a backseat driver at times (once literally), but she’s always present.

On Earth is an apocalypse story (in a mall, no less) and Torres nicely halves the issue between action and fallout. The second half is Nancy finding out she’s in the future and Lucifer trying to redeem death row inmates.

Where the comic hits the bumps is the art. Lorenzana’s art is too slick for the human scenes. He does far better making the gross stuff not seem so scary and the giant Hell monsters look good too.

It’s entertaining and mostly competent.

CREDITS

Writer, El Torres; artist, Enrique Lopez Lorenzana; colorist, Fran Gamboa; letterer, Malaka Studio; editors, C. Edward Sellner and Matt Litts; publisher, Image Comics.

Nancy in Hell On Earth 1 (January 2012)

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For some reason, El Torres thinks the reader needs two recaps of the previous series, so Nancy in Hell On Earth takes a while to get started.

There’s a little with the bad guy getting the job of lording over Earth’s destruction, but he also recaps the end of the last series. It’d be more effective without. Same goes for the reintroduction of Nancy and Lucifer. Torres does have a funny twist, but it comes after he wastes a couple pages on ground situation.

One of those text recaps on the credits page would have been a lot better.

With the Nancy and Lucifer scenes, Torres does just fine. Then he introduces some cop helping people and quoting the Bible. Those scenes don’t work out.

Enrique Lopez Lorenzana’s art is okay most of the time, but he’s weak when it comes to drawing people. It makes for some bad panels.

C 

CREDITS

Writer, El Torres; artist, Enrique Lopez Lorenzana; colorist, Fran Gamboa; letterer, Malaka Studio; editor, C. Edward Sellner; publisher, Image Comics.

Nancy in Hell 4 (October 2010)

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For the last issue, Torres decides he needs a twist ending—no spoilers, but it’s the weakest of all possible twist endings. The ending I was hoping for, one setting up an awesome sequel, does not come to pass.

Ryp returns for the final two page spread. It would have been nice to have him the whole time, though I guess the replacements do all right. Once again, Malaka Studio and Antonio Vasquez do about the level of work I’d expect from this kind of thing. This issue has some monsters. I would have loved to see Ryp draw a monster.

Torres’s writing is at times too strong for it and too weak. His plotting is uninspired (the big reveal, like I said, is the weakest of all possible) but his actual writing in scene is quite good. Way too good for Nancy in Hell.

It’s disappointing, but still readable.

CREDITS

Writer, El Torres; artists, Malaka Studio, Antonio Vasquez and Juan Jose Ryp; colorist, Francis Gamboa; letterer, Malaka Studio; editor, C. Edward Sellner; publisher, Image Comics.

Nancy in Hell 3 (September 2010)

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Nancy in Hell loses Juan Jose Ryp… and, really, it doesn’t make much difference.

Oh, the art from Malaka Studio (no one is singled out) and Antonio Vasquez is fairly bad, but they follow Ryp’s initial ideas. Busty girl, big buff surfer dude, lots of gross stuff in Hell. In some ways, the art this issue is more what I would have expected overall. Except Ryp was a little too classy for it.

But Torres again uses the series for his theological ruminations. Lucifer, he decides here, is really more like a moronic child. Without freewill, even his creations in Hell can boss him around, just like God used to do.

When Lucifer has his big moment—getting up the courage to act like a man and not a Ken doll—it works.

Unfortunately, as he props up Lucifer, Torres weeks Nancy bit by bit. She’s starting to get annoying.

CREDITS

Writer, El Torres; artists, Malaka Studio and Antonio Vasquez; colorist, Francis Gamboa; letterer, Malaka Studio; editor, C. Edward Sellner; publisher, Image Comics.

Nancy in Hell 2 (September 2010)

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More than a third of this issue is a history of Lucifer in the Nancy in Hell universe. Torres raises some interesting points—Lucifer’s just a spoke in the wheel because he never had free will. It’s an interesting moment when he realizes no matter what he does, he can’t really make a decision for himself and so he can’t change his station.

Ryp’s history of Hell is his most successful art of the issue. Many of the pages are iconic, full-page spreads retelling a familiar story with a particular bent.

Then another third is spent on Nancy’s history. It’s a slasher movie without many of the gory parts. There’s some gore, but not mostly after the fact stuff. Unfortunately, Ryp uses some kind of digital inking in this section and it looks terrible.

The last part is the setup for next issue.

It’s okay, but sliding in quality.

CREDITS

Writer, El Torres; artist, Juan Jose Ryp; colorist, Francis Gamboa; letterer, Malaka Studio; editor, James Heffron; publisher, Image Comics.

Nancy in Hell 1 (August 2010)

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So is the title, Nancy in Hell, a reference to Nightmare on Elm Street? Torres opens with that the titular Nancy in the middle of a monologue comparing herself to an eighties horror movie star. Maybe I’m over thinking it.

Because Nancy in Hell does not offer much in the way of story or inventiveness. Actually,the soft cliffhangers compelling and unexpected. Torres does well with it.

What Nancy does offer is Juan Jose Ryp doing his first work—as far as I know, anyway—for someone other than Avatar. It’s less busy and more rounded, mainstream stuff and, oh, it is beautiful. The joke is Nancy is an eighties pin-up girl, so Ryp does get to play with the cheesecake, but really he’s bringing all his excellent action sensibilities… but not busying it too much. You can see what’s going on.

It’s beautiful.

And a not terrible read.

CREDITS

Writer, El Torres; artist, Juan Jose Ryp; colorist, Francis Gamboa; letterer, Malaka Studio; editor, James Heffron; publisher, Image Comics.

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