Fiction has always had a preoccupation with the underworld, from Odysseus’s visit with Teiresias to Dante’s Inferno to the last couple of issues of Jhonen Vasquez’s Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. However, hell has rarely looked as colorful and appealing as it does in neon candy colored panels of Hellbound by Seth Smith.
The story begins in our world, when Mike gets picked up from school by his older brother, Sean. Sean asks Mike if he’ll attend the Atlanta United game with him, and then gets him to agree by offering him an all-too tempting bag of donuts (even though Mike doesn’t want to go to the sporting event, the contract is sealed when he takes a bite of a donut – a classic deal with the devil).
Unfortunately, things get more complicated on the way to the game: as they are driving to the event, an unearthly creature scampers in front of their car and they accidentally strike it. When they get out to see what’s happened, they discover a demon in the road – and when the creature’s eyes glow, they open a portal that Sean falls through and disappears.
In order to rescue his brother, Sean follows him through the portal, but he couldn’t have possibly been prepared for what lies on the other side – Hell City! While different versions of the underworld have been explored in comics before, this version of Hell, a cabal of hellish gangsters rule the streets, assisted by a host of minor demons. Can Sean successfully navigate this strange new world in order to find his brother and return home safely?