Painkiller Jane/Hellboy #1 (of 1)
[Event Comics $2.96 US $4.50 CAN]
Written by Brian Augustyn / Pencilled by Rick Leonardi / Inked by Jimmy Palmiotti
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Painkiller Jane/Hellboy #1 CoverI picked this up on a whim because it was a light week and I like Hellboy. I didn’t have a clue who Painkiller Jane was beyond the fact that she was some character in the Event Comics line who wore a lot of bandages and a halter top. I did discover that Jane wears a lot of bandages because she’s got a mondo healing factor but she gets banged up quite a bit, hence the bandages to cover healing wounds.

As a Painkiller Jane vehicle I’m sure this title was worth it. As a Hellboy vehicle, however, it was just kind of there. What did I expect, right? The story concerns an ancient Native American Indian cask that the archaeologist/museum honchos want to open. The activists outside the museum want the artifact back with the Native Americans. Jane is there as security for an old friend, Dr. Nanda Perhan, who discovered the cask and was delivering it to the museum. Hellboy shows up with Gregory Two Bears, Native American Indian and expert on such artifacts.

To make a long story short, the cask of the Maniskeet is opened and a big supernatural ugly is released and he’s intent on bringing back the primordial splendor of the past so he can be the main big god once again. Most of the comic is taken up with the struggle to get N’Korik back into the cask. Lots of fighting, lots of action, pretty typical for a done-in-one comic.

The artwork by Rick Leonardi (Spider-Man 2099) and Jimmy Palmiotti is decent but I thought the coloring was a little too dark. Leonardi doesn’t go for any wacky panel layouts nor do you get pages full of huge panels so that reading the comic lasts about as long as sneezing. Painkiller Jane/Hellboy #1 wasn’t a great comic but as a light action-filled romp it fulfilled its purpose admirably.

I can’t imagine this comic was ordered heavily so if you can’t find it at your local comic shop try writing Event Comics, 387 Park Avenue South, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10016. Or give their web site a shot at www.eventcomics.com [this link is dead, dead, dead just like the comic company].