Nancy in Hell (#1 – 4, 2018 Amigo Comics) – El Torres

3 out of 5

This can’t be that great for new Nancy in Hell readers. Not that the premise of “scantily clad lady in Hell kills demons with a chainsaw” is all that hard to grasp, but over the course of a couple of series and a one-shot, creator El Torres did take steps to move away from the outright cheesecake premise and wrap in a mythology with a kind-hearted Lucifer, a plotting force Macabre, and a more and more promising plotline which flipped the general Heaven and Hell conceit on its head… and now this “volume 1” pseudo-reboot of Nancy kind of erases all of that, but references it at the same time, not leaving much room for its own new lore additions and concepts. So here’s your jumping on point, which doesn’t tell a complete story, and half-references things without much context.

Those same reasons also make it a bit disappointing for NiH followers, unfortunately – it’s not really clear if the former volumes slate is clean or not, and then when it seems like Torres is actually doing some meta-plotting that will bring the old and new Nancys together… it’s To Be Continued. This can work in an ongoing title, but a four-part mini-series, from a very publishing inconsistent imprint / writer makes it a dodgy move.

However: Amigo Comics, forever switching up artists halfway through titles and doing the same here, lucks on an incredible batch of creatives who manage a tonally consistent, exciting look through, starting with Abel Cicero, passing to Rodrigo Zayas, and then to Hugo Petrus; Torres, while miffing clarifying if this is a retelling or reboot or new story or whatnot, is perpetually gifted who fascinating ideas, and that’s here as well: Hell is now pitched as being structured like a corporation; Lucifer tormented to keep it in control; and it’s visualized as – in part – a long, stretching highway to nowhere. Intriguing characters pop up – a biker gang, minions of Lucifer with whom Nancy throws in; a preacher preaching to a group of the undead who seems to be able to abolish their links to Hell – and although we never get around to digging in to the revelation that “Nancy In Hell Volume 1 (2018)” might be one in a series of cyclical Nancy universes… it does make me hope that To Be Continued is a real thing.