Liesel Van Helsing

The name Van Helsing carries with it a legacy and a burden. The reputation that when a Monster is terrorizing a land, a Van Helsing is the one to remedy it. Whether it be vampires, or any other abominations. It was the burden that her Father bore, and it is one that Liesel Van Helsing has accepted. So, when she is called upon to deal with a creature that no one else can, she does so. But not without some remorse in the doing of the deed.

Because while it is her sworn oath to battle such creatures, it does not always remove her feelings of regret for taking their life. Sometimes, there is a tragic story behind the monster. In addition, just because she accepts her occupation and its included hazards, does not mean she has no concern for her own safety. Every time she confronts a monster, she knows that it might be her last. But that was before she had someone to come back to. That adds a whole new variation to her life. For better, or worse.

Exmoor

The story begins in the moorlands, across the field of Exmoor, in the United Kingdom. The local town has been terrorized by a beast of legend. It has lain dormant for some time, but now it has resurfaced.  Wreaking havoc on the local townsfolk, despite their best attempts to deal with the monster. Being severely outmatched, the people of this small town have come to the realization that they have no way of defeating this deadly and seemingly indestructible creature. This is why they have sent for Liesel Van Helsing in the hope to capture or kill the Beast of Exmoor, and bring an end to their nightmare.

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Rick

As most of her assignments start, Liesel is awaiting for a representative of the town to meet to explain the situation and what she can expect. While she waits, she enjoys some time with Rick, the man in her life. Although, their relationship would have seemed to be more complicated, now that he knows who and what she is and her chosen occupation. Regardless, he seems to have accepted it without issues. Which is both surprising to Liesel and comforting at the same time. However, it does add another element to her life. Someone who worries about her and she him. Not exactly the kind of distractions she would have chosen. But for now, it is what it is. And she welcomes his company.

The Situation

In time, the townspeople she was expecting arrive. Mr. Kingston and Shaela Devon, who is seemingly not that impressed with Liesel, despite her reputation. They immediately set off as Kingston explains the situation. The attacks have escalated in the last few months. At first, it was just livestock and animals. But now it has attacked humans. The town has posted volunteers to keep an eye out for the creature. An alarm system has been engaged where a siren is sounded when a sighting has been reported. The town is locked down. They had wanted to bring in some outside assistance. Perhaps police from surrounding areas or even the military. But Jocelyn Folgers, the head of the town, wanted to keep this in house…so to speak. That is where they were heading next. To meet with Jocelyn.

The Folgers

They enter the Folgers estate and Liesel is introduced to Jocelyn and her son Philemon. Once the formalities were complete, Jocelyn asked Liesel if she had been briefed on the Beast of Exmoor. The creature had been plaguing the town for over 30 years on and off. It was a situation that should have been remedied in that time. Perhaps, if they had a Van Helsing available at that time, it might not have escalated. But she had heard that Liesel had been trapped in some “other world.” Liesel confirmed this, probably wondering if this was common knowledge. Regardless, Jocelyn asked Liesel what she intended to do about their problem. Did she plan to kill the Beast? Liesel replied that she would stop it. Whether or not that required killing the creature was still an unanswered question, as was WHAT it actually is. It was then that the aforementioned siren went off. The beast had been spotted. The hunt was on.

Questions

So the creature had been spotted. Would Liesel capture the beast or would she find it necessary to kill it? If you were to ask Shaela Devon, the answer was obvious. Killing the thing was the only true solution. However, there was more to this than meets the eye. Liesel felt it. There were things not being said…especially from Joeclyn. What was the truth and what WAS the Beast of Exmoor? The answers to those questions await when you read Zenescope’s Van Helsing: The Beast of Exmoor.

Thoughts

Monster hunters and the like are hardly knew in the world of literature. But the name of Van Helsing adds a weight to the occupation. Leave it to Zenescope to continue to find ways to explore the Van Helsing legacy is new and exciting ways in their Van Helsing series. In the Beast of Exmoor, writer Brian Hawkins gets the opportunity to explore how a relationship enhances or complicates Liesel’s life and career in addition to her normal monster hunting agenda. This adds a depth to the character and reminds the reader that even legendary figures are at their core, human. Hawkins handles it with a deft touch and dialogue that anyone could relate to. Not necessarily easy when you are dealing with monsters and the supernatural. Nice work. Of course, I’m a romantic at heart, so I’m biased. When added to another in Zenescope’s long line of bad ass women, I’m sold.

However, when the rubber hits the road, it is a monster hunt. And as one might expect, things are seldom as they appear. Hawkins handles that part well too, aided by the artistic work of Alan Otero and colorists Walter Pereyra and Maxflan Araujo. I have pretty much ran out of words to describe how big a fan I am of all of Zenescope’s artists. Alan Otero is no exception. Tight lines, fantastic action sequences and unique panel perspectives all combine to make Van Helsing: The Beast of Exmoor another page turner. Be sure to check this one out.

Zenescope’s Van Helsing: The Beast of Exmoor  comes out on October 6th where all great comics are sold.

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