Gritty Grindhouse At It’s Best: ‘Against Hope’ Reviewed

by Tito W. James

When a girl’s boyfriend is murdered by Neo-Nazis, she tracks them down to exact her bloody revenge in Against Hope by Victor Santos (Polar). Against Hope is an expansion of Santos’s short comic, Guts. Is Hope Walker the grindhouse heroine we’ve been waiting for, or should this revenge tale have remained a webcomic?

THE BAD

There are some worthy additional villains to the story that I wish had more screen time. The final encounter with Hope’s archenemy is exciting but felt cut short.

THE GOOD

Santos is an expert at capturing the essence of a genre story while putting a new twist on it. In Roshomon, he told a samurai mystery from multiple perspectives. In Against Hope, we’re treated to a revenge story that takes place across two parallel timelines.

The story jumps between the past and present seamlessly. In the past, Hope is caught in a survival game while in the present she’s hunting down the Nazis who captured her in the past. The action is split into defense and offense, building the tension to a satisfying conclusion.

THE VERDICT

Against Hope is the opposite of what Santos has done before. The in-washed environments are gorgeous and the action is oh-so-satisfying. It’s the kind of art that you’d want to hang on a wall combined with a story you might hide under your bed. Against Hope is a must buy for fans of Santos’s previous work and an excellent introduction to the ‘pioneer of Pulp’ for new readers.

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