Written and created by B. Alex Thompson, Hass is an independent comic book released by Approbation Comics. It has been described as being “Romeo and Juliet meets American History X“, and for good reason.
The story starts with a character being beaten to a pulp. We are led to believe this is the main protagonist of the story as he narrates what is happening to the audience. It’s a strong way to catch the reader’s eye, leaving them wanting to read on. The non-linear structure of the story means we know the fate of the character as it then skips back by 24 hours to the events leading up to the beatdown. It is here the character is introduced as Josh Jones, a cocky, self-assured young man. There is little on his mind apart from what’s on most young boys minds, which is finding a girl and trying to woo her. This is where the other central character Maggie is introduced. The issue explores their relationship in-depth and divulges what exactly makes them relate to each other so well. The best part about this is that it all feels natural, which is sometimes hard to come across in comic books.
The slow build-up between the two characters is perfectly placed after such a strong and powerful introduction to the story. As we learn more about the characters, we begin to understand why they act as they do, and we begin to grow more attached to them.
This story about love and young romance is soon turned on its head. The story becomes much more complicated as writer B. Alex Thompson raises issues of racism, something not seen very often in comic books anymore but is still unfortunately part of the culture we live in.
The artwork for Hass done by Frederico Santagati is excellent and blends well with Thompson’s sharp writing. The two go hand-in-hand and perfectly match up to tell the story. The bleak start to Hass keeps the reader’s attention, as they already know the character’s fate leading up to the event.
What makes Hass so engaging is the natural and realistic characters and setting that allows the conversations between the characters to flow in a believable and realistic manner, which in turn makes the story easier to read.
The rhythm of the story never loses pace, and keeps the momentum right from the introduction, which makes you want to keep reading nonstop from start to finish. Bringing up realistic and meaningful story lines makes Hass a relevant story in the 21st century, raising moral dilemmas that still have to be dealt with to this day.
Hass is an excellent start to what could be a great series. The first issue perfectly set the pace for the rest of the series and did a great job of introducing the characters in a quick but meaningful way. Make sure to look out for future issues of this riveting tale.
What did you think of Hass? Will you be looking out for future issues? Let us know in the comment section below, or tweet us on our Twitter page.