Comics Features

REVIEW: Hollow Girl by Luke Cooper

Written by Patrick Smith

Luke Cooper, the creator of A Glimpse of Hell and the artist behind the True Believers Comic Award winning Good Cop Bad Cop has obliged us by giving AP2HYC the opportunity to review his latest creation, Hollow Girl – I Am No-One.

Before I delve into this mysterious and chilling thriller, it’s only fair that I declare an interest. I’ve developed an admiration for Cooper‘s storytelling talents, ample evidence of which you can find at the links below, within our reviews of some of his earlier works; Amazing and Fantastic Tales; Good Cop Bad Cop; Wolf Country;

As Hollow Girl opens, we’re introduced to Chuckles and Mutt. They’re a pair of urban ne’er do wells, cruising through the dark city streets, car headlights slicing through the black. Chuckles is keen on procuring ‘a cheap whore’. The visual depiction of this wrong side of town and its’ inhabitants are slick and stark. The tone is set from the get-go in this regard. The language is certainly as foul as the polluted night air. This book is unambiguously suggested for mature readers.

Our pair of low-lifes soon pick up a waif. Once she’s in the car, they’re surprised to note she’s sporting a mask. The portrayal of this girl is one that subtly inspires growing unease. Chuckles directs them to a sleazy motel and it’s immediately apparent that his plans for revelry are likely to be particularly brutal. Whilst the increasingly hapless Mutt keeps look-out in the lobby, Chuckles takes the girl upstairs. In short order, all bloody hell breaks loose.

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As far as the plot goes, following the initial scene-setting pages, flashback scenes alternate between the present and key events from six years earlier. There’s certainly no issue with constricting rigidity being applied for the sake of artifice. Far from it. The story follows its’ own logic and the different paths taken are coherently in pursuit of it. In fact, they’re utilised to accelerate the pace as the carnage intensifies and inherent complexities are later revealed.

Moments of splashed inky gore, strange and dreadful visions or panoramas that bring to life the world in which this fiction resides, are each rendered with a precision, a sense of discipline and a vision that continually addresses and reinforces the developing drama. A particularly notable visual device is the use of split panels to illustrate all manner of divisions; of space; or in time; or ruptures of a far more personal nature. Our heroine isn’t called the Hollow Girl for nothing.

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Of course, it’s not all about technique. There are some fine characters within these pages; Dr. Pearson, the nobly ethical counsellor who views our protagonist as ‘just a child’; Detective Midwinter, a classic counterpoint, initially portrayed as a jaded, cold cynic; Father Skelton, the virtual archetype of a raving, senile cleric; The players whether major or minor are staged with a depth of personality that brings the whole story to life. Accompanying this is a satisfying uncertainty. There’s a key question that resonates through these pages, ‘Who Are You?’, and it applies to many.

Luke Cooper delivers an invigorating narrative that’s both immediate and holds depth. He’s crafted a fine origin for his Hollow Girl and provides an excellent springboard for further chapters of mayhem and retribution. It’s been some time since I’ve been so thoroughly entertained by a comic-book that’s truly imbued with the ‘spirit of vengeance’.

So, be good to yourselves, if not each other and spend a few moments finding out a bit more here, Scar Comics and reviewing the launch here, Hollow Girl Kickstarter Page, for this great piece of work. It’s completed and it’s raring to go. All it needs is a swift kick in the right direction from you!

Once you’ve donated to the Kickstarter, why not let us know in the comments section below or send us a tweet!

About the author

Patrick Smith