Hexware introduces readers to a bleak but technologically advanced future. This isn’t some post-apocalyptic dystopia but one where class inequality has created an even greater divide between people while corporations reign supreme. Those with the means prosper, buying and upgrading robotic servants as if they were iPhones, while the downtrodden fight to survive; looting and pillaging, finding solace in a kind of neo-spiritualism. Heavy stuff.
Our guide to this world is Which-Where, one such robot, who goes above her protocols to help her human hosts (family?) following a devastating loss. This journey leads her away from the impossibly tall skyscrapers of the upper class to the lower levels of society, a refuge of bizarre antique shops and exotic-dance clubs where the dark arts are commonplace. Which-Where makes for an odd but fascinating protagonist as her dedication takes her deeper into the world of the occult.
Hexware is a genre-bending mashup of dark sci-fi and even darker magic. It’s also bat-shit crazy and fun as hell. The idea of magic and technology merging is hardly a new concept but the approach here is as unique as they come. Writer Tim Seeley brings the same unique perspective and sense of creativity to this as he did to the horror genre with his creator-owned “Hack/Slash” series. Imagine Doctor Strange or Scarlet Witch in the world of “Blade Runner” and you can get a sense of what he’s doing here. The nonlinear storytelling does lead to some occasional confusion but the book is well worth re-reading, even if just to make sense of what just happened.
The art by Zulema Scotto Lavina is simply spectacular, particularly in the sharp contrast between set-pieces. The bright and shiny buildings that house the upper-crust in their subtly futuristic outfits could not be more different than the grit and grime of the city’s lower levels and their denizens. Which-Where’s design has a distinctly 90’s comic book babe influence but stops short of crossing over into creepy sex-bot territory. Her wardrobe near the end of the issue seems to say ‘Cyberpunk Halloween Pin-Up Special’ but it strangely works and never comes off as gratuitous. Valentina Cuomo’s colors add to the aesthetic and propel the art to a whole new level. The overall look of the issue has a 90’s vibe but with enough modern sensibilities to keep it from feeling like pure nostalgia.
- Writer: Tim Seeley
- Artist: Zulema Scotto Lavina
- Colorist: Valentina Cuomo
- Letterer: Maurizio Clausi
- Logo/Book Designer: Fabrizio Verrocchi
- Editors: Antonio Solinas, Davide Morando
- Color Editor: Andrea Meloni
- Publisher: Image Comics