MAR101121_low_UNBEATABLE_GNI really enjoyed the first Unbeatable graphic novel, from writer Matthias Wolf and artist Carlos Gomez (check out my review here), but found it not the easiest book to review.  The art makes it seem like you’re in for a fun action romp, but Unbeatable is anything but.  I mean, sure there’s a ton of action and some well drawn fight sequences, but Unbeatable is incredibly serious.  The story is intense, the drama is intense…the whole thing was just, well, intense.

The way it ended (which I’ll reveal after the jump) totally caught me off guard, and not in a bad way.  The hints were there throughout the story, but damn…the payoff for the story was more than worth the journy, and set up for an interesting sequel…which is now here – Unbeatable: Hotter Than Hell.

Unbeatable: Hotter Than Hell picks up after the events of the first, and continue the adventures of Heimen Dale after the catastrophic events that changed his life.

Check out my review of Hotter Than Hell after the jump!

As Hotter Than Hell begins, Heimen Dale has taken his rightful place…as the defender of the gates of Heaven (think about his name for a second – Heimdall, anyone?).  Because he never gives up, he is literally…unbeatable.  It’s this that has made him so successful in his job.  But he’s lonely, haunted by his former love, who died horribly in the first novel.  Dale has accepted his role, but he’s miserable…and then someone breaks the rules.  See, Dale doesn’t let anyone unworthy into Heaven, but the rules say that guns aren’t allowed in their fights to get in.  Somehow, someone gets around this, and Dale is killed and sent to Hell, where he meets up with Thor, who has been sent to Hell by his brother Loki.

In Hell, Thor and Heimen team up to find The Lizard King in Hell, and navigate Hell’s landscape.  When they stop for beers at one of Hell’s biggest bars, they end up getting roped into arena fighting with other demons to pay their bar bill.  Of course, Hell’s a seductive place, and they find themselves over their heads…

Just like the original, Hotter Than Hell is just…well, damn intense.  The story has humerous beats every now and then, but it’s totally taken very seriously and Heimen isn’t just going to make the right decision and wind up better for it.  In fact, he makes some VERY bad decisions and the story takes an unexpected turn in the latter half that is definitely not something you’re going to see in normal funnybooks.  The art by Carlos Gomez is absolutely stellar and this book SHINES, whether it’s in a fight scene, or a quieter moment.

If you’re looking for a different kind of hero’s journey – one that really is fraught with pain and drama, pick up Unbeatable: Hotter Than Hell and the original.  I highly recommend both of them, and Hotter Than Hell should be on comic stands TODAY!