We’re three issues into “Hinterkind,” the new ongoing series from Ian Edginton and Francesco Trifogli. By this point, I think it’s safe to say any potential reader will have given it a fair chance and either decided to stick with it or call it a day. And at this point in the series, “Hinterkind” is still showing both its strengths and weaknesses. The basic idea behind the series is good, but the execution is lagging.
The concept behind “Hinterkind,” as the mythical races turn out to be real and decide to try and take back the world and stomp out humanity, isn’t bad. It’s interesting enough, and having these beings showing up even as the planet is being overtaken with foliage and the numbers of full-blooded humans are decreasing results in some interesting imagery. But in “Hinterkind” #3, the problem is that the characters themselves are taking a back seat to the basic ideas that Edginton is trying to get across.
Without interesting characters, your book is almost certainly doomed, and that’s the path that “Hinterkind” is currently walking down. Angus and Prosper appear to be the main characters of the title, and three issues in I still don’t have a grasp on who they are. They’re both very dull, and manage to achieve virtually nothing. Meanwhile, Edginton keeps adding in new characters without dealing with the ones we’ve already met. What about the royal duo from the previous issue out in California, for instance? They’re nowhere to be seen, even as still more faces show up this month. I get that Edginton wants to introduce everyone quickly, but an onslaught of characters with very little in the way of plot advancement feels the wrong way to do so. A tighter focus on the main characters and a slow spinning out of the new people and situations probably could have helped keep reader interest here.
Trifogli’s art is perfectly average. I like that Trifogli is clearly focusing on character expressions; it’s his strength. Characters react through the faces to everything they see and experience here, and that’s where the art comes to life. Balancing it out, though, are some weak poses and strange stances. Ultimately I feel that the longer Trifogli is around the more relaxed the art will (hopefully) get, but for now it’s just all right.
I want to like “Hinterkind” but after three issues I’m unable to work up the interest to find out what happens next to all of these characters. You don’t have to necessarily like them all, but you at least need to get your attention grabbed enough to invest some sort of desire to follow them month after month. For now, though, I’m in the position where it’s actually more dangerous to be bored than to find the book out and out bad. Barring some great word of mouth, I just don’t care enough to pick up issue #4.