04th Sep2014

Graphic Novel Review: ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’

by Richard Axtell

Written by Michael Mendheim, Mike Kennedy, Sean Jaffe | Art by Simon Bisley | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Hardcover, 256pp


Raised by the Order of Solomon, Adam Cahill is one of a rare handful of highly trained warriors bound by bloodline to guard the Seven Holy Seals that contain the End of Days. But ageless forces have conspired towards a prophetic event foretold by numerous cultures and multiple religions, and when that cryptic date arrives, they strike against the order without mercy! Adam’s world is shattered, his family murdered, and he is sent spiralling into Hell itself. He is Helldiver and he is tasked with stopping The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse before they bring about the end of the world and destroy everything he loves.

The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is a gritty and dark comic of epically dramatic proportions. Aimed towards a mature audience, it is filled with enough violence, naked women and biblical quotes to make your head spin. Reading it felt a little like a combination of Van Helsing, Constantine and the Exorcist on crack as we are taken into the depths of hell to see the characters seek redemption, face their darkest fears and kick some demonic ass at the same time. This story reads like an action film and the pace it travels at reflects that, Cahill finding himself thrown into situation after situation as he tries to stop the end of everything.

The art style, by Simon Bisley, definitely completes the package. The monsters are horrifying, the violence is brutal and the girls are… well, probably quite cold. The big bad, Belarios in particular brings a special brand of evil to the comic and Bisley has definitely hit the nail on the head with his depiction of him. I am sure I physically shuddered every time I saw him. If there is one thing that irked me a little it is that Cahill looks like a heavy metal rock star complete with long leather jacket and dramatic flowing black hair. Completely fine for the sword wielding, gun toting, hell spawn slayer of epic-tude, which he is for the majority, but it didn’t quite work with the ‘teacher and loving father’ section at the start when he looks like he has just come back from a night of partying hard with the groupies. But apart from that he definitely fit the ‘badass action hero’ archetype very well, and by the end of the story I barely remembered that issue anyway.

So, you like end-of-the-world stories? Like your comics with a heavy dose of violence and a spoonful of drama on the top to complete the mix? Then this series might be the one for you.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is out now from Titan Comics.


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