Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr HEX WIVES #1 by Ben Blacker, Mirka Andolfo, Marissa Louise, Josh Reed, Joëlle Jones, Jordie Bellaire, Jenny Frison, Molly Mahan, Maggie Bowell, and Mark Doyle Art Characterization Plot Summary Ben Blacker brings female comic fans an empowering and dark tale of witches being so powerful that they continually dominate generations of men wanting to end their existence. The art by Mirka Andolfo effortlessly illustrates true emotion and sets the moods of the story well. The cover artists illustrate two distinctive images that send different messages. 100 %EmpoweringHistory, reincarnation, witchcraft, feminism, patriarchy, and gender conformity, all come together to create the dark, riveting, and daring, HEX WIVES #1. Ben Blacker gives the DC Vertigo community an exciting, mysterious, and tantalizing story that illustrates an underlying theme of the current times.Our main characters are engaging with murderous and gruesome backstories. Mirka Andolfo easily shows each emotion of the characters and illustrates the atmosphere without fail. There’s an interesting contrast between the main cover by Joëlle Jones and Jordie Bellaire and the variant cover by Jenny Frison.No Sleep For The WickedIsadora Roma is our main character and the leader of the witch coven. Since Salem 1692, Isadora commits countless murders to protect herself and her coven. Isadora’s power grows as she continues to murder more people. Besides the horrific things Isadora’s done; for centuries, she’s in a relationship with her soulmate, Nadiya Momo. They’ve traveled to different places in the US, hoping for a new life, at least from what it seems. HEX WIVES #1 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.Outside of Isadora and Nadiya’s relationship, the other women in HEX WIVES #1 are strong witches in the coven that join the fight against the group of men known as the Architects. Later, in 2005, Isadora brutally murders the leader of the Architects. The leader’s son Aaron Gabriel is the main antagonist and the current leader. He’s out with a vengeance against Isadora and her coven.After the past is illustrated, the story’s present time shows all the witches living in the same cul-de-sac neighborhood next door to one another. The biggest twist? None of them remember their past lives. Oh yeah, and Isadora and Aaron are married… plot twist much?The Overall Plot Of HEX WIVES #1 Sparks So Many ThoughtsOh boy, there’s a lot to cover with this issue alone. First, Ben Blacker’s HEX WIVES #1 mirrors a lot of what’s going on in our current society, just without all the witchcraft. The feminist movement is in a long battle to continue living with the rights set in place. Feminists currently fight for equality with white men against the conservative Republican patriarchal males that want to take away reproductive rights, discriminate against people of color and of different sexual orientation. The story shows that battle in a dark fiction.In HEX WIVES #1 the coven triumphs so far with their reincarnation and slaughter of those trying to kill them. However, in the current time frame, all of the witches have been made to conform to gender norms instead of being the strong women they used to be. For example, they’re all married to men (as mentioned Isadora and Nadiya were lovers), they dress in vintage 50s-ish attire, stay at home, cook, clean, etc. All of these points fall in what the patriarchy thinks women should be doing.Art Speaks For Itself In HEX WIVES #1The art in HEX WIVES #1 by Mirka Andolfo does well in showing true emotion and the overall mood of the story. Andolfo seems to clearly understand Ben Blacker’s vision and effortlessly brings the story to life. For example, when you see Isadora and Nadiya together, you can see the connection and love between the two. Another emotion that stands out is Isadora’s rage. When she rips a man’s head off, and her facial expressions are all perfect. HEX WIVES #1 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.The work of Joëlle Jones and Jordie Bellaire’s main cover shows this sexy and intense woman, clearly in her element as a witch while a fire burns in the background. Jenny Frison’s cover shows a woman conforming while concealing her true self behind a twisted smile. The image articulates a sinister look like there’s an underlying secret. Of course, there are flames outside the window in that image too. What’s the deal with flames as a theme?What is the meaning and/or message behind having flames in these covers and in the story? No matter, these pieces are nothing short of breathtaking.Hex Wives #1 Is Exactly What Female Comic Fans NeedLadies, if you’re not feeling as empowered as this reader is, you should read this again and think deep within your soul. There aren’t many comics out on the market that speak this loud for women. You don’t have to like witchcraft to love the strength and endurance of these women. Like, why do the Architects want to go after the coven?What did they ever do to be hunted? Just being independent women that went against the grain? Let’s hope we find out the answers and more in HEX WIVES #2.