Dominatrix: Hellbent In Heels #1 Review: The Good, The Bad And The Leather Clad

Posted by November 4, 2017 Comment

Dominatrix: Hellbent In Heels #1
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Over at Dynamite, they’ve been publishing KISS comics for about a year now and doing pretty well with them. They have a main series, a Demon solo series and a Kiss / Vampirella series. But that’s not the only comic Gene Simmons is involved with. He has his own series, Dominatrix, that he has brought back at Arcana with Erik Hendrix writing and Kewber Baal doing the art. Baal is also the artist on Dynamite’s Kiss series, so obviously Gene really liked his work. Dominatrix

They synopsis for the first issue reads: From the mind of Gene Simmons, rock legend and media icon, be prepared to turn another cheek with Dominatrix. When an asset goes missing in Hawaii, Dominique is enlisted to go undercover into the world illegal arms and aloha. When investigating thugs and guns, the last thing she expects to find are extra-dimensional threats! Polish the vinyl, pucker up, and get ready for a butt kicking. You’ll thank us later.

This is a tale of two parts here and we’re going to start with the art. I like Baal’s work. He has his own style, his own choices of camera angles and has a good flow and storytelling to his pages. He handles some mundane pages very well without letting them feel mundane. He has a really good feel for the characters and is good with facial expressions. He makes the main character attractive without feeling like she’s being overly sexualized… which you’d kind of expect for a comic with a title like Dominatrix. Overall, the artwork is the highlight of the issue.

The story on the other hand has some problems. First off, this is a returning character, so there is a history here that is not ever really explained. Now I got a digital copy to read and review, so I don’t know if the inside front cover has a recap of the previous series… but if it doesn’t, then that is a serious problem. I went into this series knowing nothing about the main character, what if any abilities she has or even why she hates the guy who I guess is her boss. And the fact I have to guess that is part of the problem. Doug seems like a guy you’d want to hate… I even hate him some myself. But why does she hate him yet still go with him? I have no idea and it’s never spelled out in the story. First rule of comic writing is that every issue could be somebodies first… and especially in a new #1, you have to give the reader what they need to understand the story. That does not happen here.

As for the story itself. We spend a lot of time setting thing up and never getting to anything happening. I’ve noticed on a lot of the TV shows I follow that they seem to be speeding up the pace and making things happen quickly. But a lot of comics spend an entire first issue setting up the rest of the series, never explaining anything and having nothing really happen other than wanting to think, “oh, how mysterious and cool this is.” Except it’s not. I’m looking at you too, DC Metal. The basic story is, our main character meets with Doug, he flirts with her while taking her on a job, there are some pills involved, the go to Hawaii to buy weapons and she immediately throws out Doug’s prepared script… getting them to a secret base. And that’s it.

This story may work when all three are together. But as a single issue, there is nothing story wise to make me want to come back. We only see the main character in the Dominatrix costume once in the entire book and even that appearance doesn’t make sense. I spent 20 some odd pages trying to figure out what was going on and realizing I didn’t care. But I definitely enjoyed the art.

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(Last Updated November 4, 2017 2:59 pm )

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.

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