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Hinterkind: “The Waking World” (Vertigo, 2014; #1-6)

I grabbed Hinterkind off my shelf hoping for something escapist, if I’m being honest. Boy howdy, did I get that wrong.

In Ian Edginton and Francesco Trifogli’s post-apocalyptic tale, only a handful of humans still live. They have gathered in scattered, hidden communities—for example, a village formed in the middle of now-overgrown New York’s Central Park. Oh, and they’re being hunted and scoured from the world by mythical races—elves, trolls, goblins, demons—in retaliation for warring and destroying the environment.

This is another book that succeeds when it is about relationships—its most engaging moments are simply family or friends talking to each other. Its fantasy elements are fun, and it makes some clever literary nods; but the spectacle takes a back seat to character-driven moments. That’s to Hinterkind’s strength, although when things begin to happen to its main characters instead of because of them, the book loses a bit of steam.

The art, however, works in the other direction. Trifogli and Peter do a good job of conveying physicality and expression. And the sense of light in the book’s art is excellent. But its best moments are its more out-there: the first shot of New York overgrown, creature designs, the grotesqueness of a faction that shows up later in this arc—these elements stand out the most.

And that has the net effect of making sure there’s always something worthwhile on the page.
Supernatural horror tends to be Vertigo’s bread and butter, but Hinterkind is a different beast. It does have some supernatural elements, but it’s largely a book about survival on the road. I suspect that its scope will change and evolve as it goes, but it has an interesting starting point.

Collected in

  • Hinterkind, Vol. 1: The Waking World (#1-6)


Writer: Ian Edginton | Artist: Francesco Trifogli | Colorist: Cris Peter | Letterer: Dezi Sienty | Covers: Greg Tocchini

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