I had every intention of reading Astro City as CAE had suggested. But then the next three volumes of Hellsing arrived from Amazon! What was I to do?! And now I’ve gone and read all three in a day and a half. So that means waiting for the next three. Maybe I’ll read Astro City after all? I suppose I could give the exceedingly dull Pride and Prejudice and Zombies another crack.
Man, they are good. I’m quite addicted.
The religious rhetoric is still very prominent in the story/texts. Hirano has this really interesting way of indicating prayer. He draws the font in this very small and difficult to read script. It gives one the impression of something muttered. Very effect.
Alucard’s gun has written on it “Jesus is in Heaven Now.”
Both the Catholic and Protestant rhetoric is still present but in volume 6 it seems to turn decided anti-Catholic. The head of Iscariot XIII group seems to be double for the main enemy (I won’t tell you who he turns out to be). But it seems like the split here is between the kingdom of man and the kingdom of God. The main bad guy is interested in war for the sake of world war. The head of Iscariot XIII, Archbishop Max, is interested in waging war to cleanse the earth of heretics. So their obsessions essentially manifest themselves in the same ways (total war) and with the same symptoms (maniacal laughter, please saying “you’re crazy!”, etc.).
There is one Catholic character, Father Anderson, who is strangely above the world lust for war and power that the head of Iscariot XIII embraces. Anderson really is a true believer and kills because he imagines himself the hand of God’s judgement on earth. He wears gloves, one of which has on it “Jesus is in Heaven Now,” just like Alucard’s gun. It’s interesting because it’s this “crazy” belief that keeps him from being crazy/insane/mad the way Max is. Somehow that spares Anderson. Anderson is also Alucard’s foil. Alucard dispatched his foes with sickening glee in volumes 4 and 5. But Anderson gives him trouble. Or rather, as I said, they are perfectly matched. The sense is that they really don’t want to destroy the other because that would kill the victor’s reason for being as well.
Volume 6 is gutsy because Alucard is hardly in it. In volume 5, he did the impossible and made it onto a British war ship (this should be impossible for vampires), got rid of the hitherto undefeatable supernatural foe — another vampire called Rip Van Winkle or Rip for short — and was slowly making his way back to London. Alas, because of the way water binds his power, he can’t go very fast and in his absence, London falls.
You can see why I’m dying for Volume 7.