The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Author: Michael Mendheim
Art: Simon Bisely
Publisher: Titan Books
Well, I’m pretty sure there ain’t gonna be many spoilers here. This is the Ronseal of graphic novels.
Adam Cahill is by day a Professor of Jewish history living in New York. By night he is a member of the Order of Solomon, sworn to protect two of the seven seals of hell. When the demonic-worshipping Nicolaitan Movement begin searching for the seals, with the intention of unleashing the four Horsemen on the Earth and bringing about Judgment Day, Cahill is attacked and one of his seals stolen. On the verge of death after being crucified, Cahill is prompted into suicide by angelic voices so he can become a Helldiver, travelling into purgatory to recruit three other lost souls in order to fight Death, War, Famine and Pestilence on their home turf and prevent the apocalypse.
It’s amazing that the book ever got made. Reading through the intro, this story was clearly a huge labour of love by writer Michael Mendheim. He had originally developed this as a video game with 3DO as far back as 2001, before the company filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Continuing to develop the concept with artist Simon Bisley, they landed a deal with Vogster to produce a video game with tie-in graphic novel. Then Vogster closed their game division, the pair redeveloped the concept yet again and finally in 2011 Heavy Metal released the first volume, Helldiver. And now, Dark Horse brings us the full collected edition of all seven volumes.
Mendheim’s epic story contains enough twists and turns to keep the reader occupied. Over the course of 200-plus pages he takes us literally to hell and back as demonic agents try to unleash the End Of Days on the world. However, it is Bisley’s artwork that is the star here. The world and the world below it is brought vividly to life in a mixture of Technicolor and shadow as Cahill and his fellow damned battle against the forces of hell.
All in all, this is a pretty damn good ride. Recommended.