I initially struggled to engage with Hex Americana because the art style differs from what I enjoy. However, before long, I immersed myself in the story of a boy who meets a ghost. The LGBTQ+ stories are natural, and though the world is wildly imaginative, the identifiable themes in Hex Americana cement this as a welcome story for teens to enjoy. Love and racing work for Fast and Furious, so sit back and enjoy. Though clunky with many characters to keep track of, Hex Americana has an adorable love story holding it all together.
Written by Bree Wolf, Hex Americana, the comic starts with a ghostly tale of rivals racing through caverns when one crashes and dies. Ken Takamoto relays Dante’s tragic end to kids in his mother’s class, taking time to scare them out of their wits. This world has all the same drama, jealousy, and prejudice as ours.
But this one has a variety of creatures, from wolves to mummies to witches to cyclops. Ken works for his mom, earning some pocket money, and drives her to work with her car. But, as he still lives with his mom, uses her car, and works in her class, he’s dependent on her. Then Ken, a racing fan, meets Dante, and things kick off.
Hex Americana Has Cute Love
Ken and Dante’s relationship is a large part of what works in Hex Americana. Once they meet, it doesn’t necessarily feel like love but friendship. The story hints at possible love with snippets, especially on Ken’s part. Both had unfortunate experiences with love. The relationship is adorable. But despite a few hints, there’s little from Dante’s side to make the transition believable. However, I was rooting for Ken. So, it still made me happy.
A Bit Too Long With Too Many Characters
I love lengthy books, provided the content is a page-turner. Plenty of parts drag as the story introduces us to Dante’s old friend, flame, and nemesis. Trimming the unnecessary excess would be preferable. Rather than all these additional characters, focusing on Ken and Dante’s budding relationship works better. So, while parts of Hex Americana are gripping, others feel stagnant or unnecessary.
Familiar World of Prejudice, Plus Monsters
Despite the array of identities—all kinds of beasties exist in this world—there’s homophobia too. It is not a centerpiece of the story, but it does help shape certain events. What stood out the most is how Ken’s mother does not defend her son each time her wolf coworker, Mr. Pawturn, says something offensive. But there’s little resolution here. Ken shrugs off his mom’s repeated silence as well. Hex Americana does not explore Ken’s Asian identity. The focus is monsters, racing, and love, all built in a world of magic and monsters.
As a whole, Hex Americana entertains. However, some parts feel dull and inessential. There’s not enough done building the characters, so they feel unnecessary, save for Ken and Dante. True, they tie into the story. But besides that, they feel incomplete. Given the length of the story, Hex Americana is not too memorable, save for the relationship at its center, and even that feels somewhat hollow, yet cute all the same.