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In Hell We Fight! #1

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 14 critic ratings.


Life in hell ain’t easy. Demons try to torture you for all eternity. Monsters want to eat you. There’s a stunning lack of reliable indoor plumbing. And it’s almost impossible to get ice cream. At least, until today, when three condemned teens and their annoying tagalong demon frenemy embark on a daring scheme to hijack a demon lord’s delivery truck. What happens next will take them on an epic journey across the underworld, an infernal excursion of nonstop excitement, danger, and adventure.

Presenting a devilishly fun new series from multiple Eisner-winning writer/letterer JOHN LAYMAN (CHEW, Suicide Squad: Kill Arkham Asylum) and Argentinian superstar artist JOK.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
31 pages
Amazon ASIN

Cover Artist

14 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100


    It’s a promising first issue that deftly introduces the main cast, some of their backstory and their individual characteristics. Quite the feat for an issue that also serves up a dark humoured tale. Before this five-issue series ends, though, I except a good deal more blood and belly-laughs will be had.

  • 95

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    A fusion of American classics like Huckleberry Finn and Judeo-Christian visions of Hell, In Hell We Fight #1 bursts with endearing characters, fanciful situations, and comic romps sure to please the child in all of us.

  • 90


    In Hell We Fight! #1 is a perfect introduction to an adventurous story. After finishing the first issue, readers will be curious about the next destination of the characters and how their situation could get any worse, considering they are already dead. The book has great pacing and humor, and keeps you fully engaged from beginning to end.

  • 90


    We join Midori, Ernie, Xander, and Balphadagon on a quest…for ice cream (wait…is that right?…Yup, ice cream). This delightfully silly premise helps to set the tone, as our four intrepid heroes (well, main characters) find more than they bargain for in this fun first issue.

    The characters on display are fun and quirky. They come not only from all different walks of life, but different time periods, which I’m sure will be explored more as time goes on. Their designs are equally fun and quirky, and the story very much embraces this. For myself, I’m reminded of games like Disgaea, where hell is definitely bad, but also a bit silly. There is definitely danger, but also plenty of the absurd (Ice cream trucks, demon lords with sunglasses, etc.). This issue establishes a fun adventure proving that it is possible to raise a little hell in…well, Hell! Colors are used to great effect, and each character drawn by Jok carries with it personality and unique flavor. At no point was I bored, and it seems clear that Layman and Jok are crafting this world and its characters with a lot of love.

  • 90

    The Convention Collective

    This issue has all the classic trademarks of a John Layman book. Quirky characters, funny dialogue, and sense of adventure that’s just overall fun. That’s just what Layman brings to the table and if you enjoy any of those things you are always in for a treat. There’s not many writers I can think of who seem to have more fun creating and writing his stories than Layman. You can just tell by the spirit, heart, and soul that he pours into each title. At first what appears to be a story about some bad egg teenagers who are condemned to hell turns into a full on crime caper. Of course, these kids aren’t looking to steal riches or relics. Turns out they just want to get their hands on some good old fashioned ice cream and why not put that ice cream on a truck that belongs to a demon lord?? Ha! It’s a little bit Goonies, a little bit Ocean’s Eleven but then mix in a little fantasy and the occult. Only Layman! This is what makes his books so enjoyable. It’s a really fun and inventive story to read and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next issue. Jok absolutely nails the tone and the vibe as well with his art! His art is perfectly suited for the often light and whimsical style of Layman’s writing. It’s vibrant and colorful and makes perfect use of every panel. If you enjoy Chew or Outer Darkness this has to be on your pull list! Definitely worth a read!

  • 85

    Nerd Initiative

    Four no-so innocent souls come together on an unlikely escapade that readers won’t be able to escape from. Layman and Jok present a wildly imaginative trek thru sharp writing and eye-catching visuals that are sure to leave an impression. Don’t pass it giving this a read on New Comic Book Day.

  • 84

    Comic Watch

    Suicide Squad: Kill Arkham Asylum writer John Layman is having a great time telling a story that could have easily been gestating from a particularly dull stint in detention forty years ago. It’s word-building without pretense, and the ending reveals a new addition to the gang that will create a “team” dynamic to sustain this book for future issues. It’s relentless in its comic brutality but in the most fun and lighthearted ways. His lettering incorporates images and symbols to convey swift and sudden emotion. It fits in so well with the artwork and storytelling that we can expect loving imitations in 2024. With his penciling partner, JOK, Layman has created a fun tone reminiscent of school desk graffiti, and it makes for a damn fun read.

    In Hell We Fight #1 is the Brothers Grimm told through the notebook sketches of that scary older kid in detention – and its a hell of a fun ride!

  • 84

    You Don't Read Comics

    Writer John Layman begins his latest tale with the aid of Argentine artist Jok. It’s a quick-paced fantasy horror adventure set in a fun kind of hell that opens up a lot of different possibilities that could be really interesting to explore.

  • 83

    Multiversity Comics

    On its own merits, “In Hell We Fight #1 is strong. When you consider that this is just laying the foundation for this series, it’s impossible not to get excited for the future. We’ve got a new must-read on our hands and it’s a delight.

    Creative, fun, and immediately engaging.

  • 80

    Horror DNA

    The title promises fighting and Hell (and fighting in Hell), and this first issue more than delivers. Part Hellboy, part Tim Burton, Layman and Jok infuse In Hell We Fight with punk / goth energy throughout. Jok’s artwork, co-coloured by Mey, is sharp and scrappy, like its characters, and more than a little reminiscent of the work of Eduardo Risso, in its chunky black lines and grotesque non-humans. Their vision of Hell is an interesting one – more washed-out than you might think – a grimy, green-ish locale, not dissimilar to how it is envisioned by The Sandman. Once can certainly understand why its three heroes might be craving ice cream so much that they’d launch a whole hellbound heist for the stuff.

    Layman wastes little time in getting to the point, in an effective introduction to all three main characters (plus demon) and their world. With the first issue contained mostly to the wilderness, one looks forward to seeing Layman and Jok’s Hell opening up to see what the other nine circles look like. A startling cliffhanger ensures that readers should be back for more… should the palette for high-energy banter and spunky teens be there.

  • 80

    Lotusland Comics

    In John Layman’s latest comic series, ‘In Hell We Fight!,’ he’s assembled a quirky group of misfits who’ve been condemned to hell and come together to plan a heist. Xander was drowned by a vengeful frog demon, Midori Fukada was a Yakuza assassin, and Ernie Comstock was murdered by a cursed ax. This ragtag team of precocious young hellions is joined by a curious tagalong, Balphie, who’s a child demon. It’s like a fractured fairy tale with an unlikely collection of teens determined to hold up an ice cream truck. They get more than they bargain for and it’s this wild adventure that brings them together and it’s irresistibly endearing with the charm of a Hellboy story. It’s made all the more fantastic with the creative character designs and colors of Jok and Mey. Their version of hell is more of a trek through a desolate landscape than a fiery apocalyptic torture pit.

    ‘In Hell We Fight!’ is a fun and charming new series following a band of misfits through hell. It’s ‘Goonies’ meets ‘Hellboy’ and should be on your pull list.

  • 70


    What I liked most about the issue isn’t just the story, but also the first-person perspective and behind the scenes of how the story came to be. Particularly interesting is the tale of how Layman and Jok met in Uruguay at a comic convention.

  • 70

    Capes & Tights

    The mix of adventure and humor, along with the stunning line work and world-building, creates a story that is both entertaining and engaging. While the color palette may throw some readers off at first, we believe that the unique style adds to the overall aesthetic of the comic book. We can’t wait to see where the group and their demon frenemy go next.

  • 50

    In Hell We Fight #1 introduces readers to its world through the eyes of Xander Bridgeford, a frog-smashing student from a rural school in late 20th century America who finds himself drowned and dragged to Hell by a demonic frog. It’s a potent starting point for a series ostensibly about the souls of dead children and adolescents goofing around in a place of eternal damnation. No sooner has Xander met his demise than we’re introduced to the rest of his gang (almost certainly more than a century later?) as they prepare to heist a truck filled with ice cream. This juxtaposition of the mundane and familiar (i.e. kids stealing candy) alongside the outlandish (i.e. children trapped in Hell) is packed with possibilities, but In Hell We Fight #1 rarely seizes upon that strangeness, instead opting to trot out a plot and approach that feel all too familiar.

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