Nancy in Hell: The Hell Gates (one-shot) – Jose Luis Vidal

3 out of 5

There was El Torres interesting but confusing muddle of reboot / sequel Nancy in Hell, which ended on a cliffhanger of sorts and the fourth issue of which was so delayed that it ended up being bundled with another comic: Jose Luis Vidal’s one-shot Nancy in Hell: The Hell Gates. If that had you thinking that maybe Torres had tossed a belated conclusion to another writer… well, no. Nope. Instead, we get another wholly isolated Nancy tale, without any connections to anything except for the main character and her chainsaw, and it’s not even a story so much as an issue worth of motorcycle ridin’ and demon slaughtering. And a good use of the world’s oldest joke. Thankfully, Pauli Junquera’s heavily stylized, energetic art is a fantastic rush, gorgeously and brightly colored, and Vidal’s script is smartly sparse: Nancy started off as something of a one-note tribute to cheesecake and horror, and though Torres has done a moderate job of trying to develop it far beyond that, the DNA of the concept maybe works best when it’s kept simple. And: I don’t need the cheesecake, so I dig that this is just blood and action.

It’s nothing fancy, it doesn’t really tell much of a story, and it adds nothing to the Nancy “mythos.” But it’s fun and looks great.