Vol. 1: The Five Furies
Written by Phil Hester
Art by Brian Churilla
Release date: February 10, 2010
The Anchor is an interesting tale about a being who is the wall between Hell and Earth. While his soul battles demons in Hell, he also battles evil beings on Earth. Very little can hurt him, but whatever damage is done to him in Hell will manifest itself on his earthly body. He has very few memories of the past, dresses and speaks in an outdated manner, and has the anchor-shaped cross of Saint Clement on his belt. The first trade, The Five Furies, introduces the Anchor, his supporting cast, and his unusual mission.
Anchor first appears in Reykjavik, Iceland, after a giant monster has attacked the town. His purple skin, large frame, and constantly appearing wounds make him a bit of an enigma. He quickly befriends a nurse named Hofi Eriksdotter and she winds up accompanying him on his mission to defeat the Five Furies, a group of monsters spread around the globe that cause massive amounts of destruction and death. Along the way, the Anchor slowly gains his memories back, learning the truth about himself and his origins.
This initial arc of The Anchor was very entertaining. The mystery surrounding the Anchor, his origins, and his spirituality are very compelling plot points. The Anchor’s dislike of profanity and generally positive behavior are a refreshing alternative to the legions of potty-mouthed antihero characters prevalent in comics today. Also, Hofi Eriksdotter is a very interesting sidekick. A gutsy, intelligent PHD student/volunteer nurse, she clearly breaks the “damsel in distress” mold. It is hard to dislike a character who speaks dialogue such as “You can’t just stomp in, wreck my city, turn my life upside down, show me things I never believed were possible, speak in tongues that haven’t been used for a thousand years, and them stomp back out… without taking me with you.” Also, she actually helps him during a battle, which should dispel any Pearl Pureheart comparisons.
The Anchor is an enjoyable, exciting read. The characters’ unique voices and motivations complement the engaging plot. There are some similarities between Hellboy and The Goon, but this Bible-quoting, bald-headed, big purple monster fighter is clearly not a clone of those characters. The first arc of The Anchor succeeds in firmly establishing the hero and its premise while leaving enough questions and plotlines to be developed in future volumes. The Anchor’s story has a strong beginning and hopefully future volumes will equal or surpass the entertainment of this opening arc.