Advance Review – Bad Blood #3 (of 5) (Dark Horse)

23768Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Jonathan Maberry
Artist: Tyler Crook
Release Date: 5th March 2014

When vampires killed his best friend, chemo patient Trick swore revenge and vowed to hunt down these creatures of the night. What Trick didn’t count on was the vampires hunting him in return. Things are beginning to escalate and Trick is starting to realise that he doesn’t know the first thing about vampires outside of what he’s seen in movies or read in books. With the first two excellent issues of five part miniseries Bad Blood, creative team Jonathan Maberry and Tyler Crook set an intimidatingly high standard. Bad Blood #3 maintains the quality with both writer and artist bringing first rate work to this issue.

Set mainly in seedy bars, squalid flats and shady back alleys the artwork by Tyler Crook remains ravishing. The interplay between light and shadow is fantastic, with pools of light dissipating into inky blackness. Not only that, but there’s genuine heart alongside all this technical skill with some emotionally affecting character work. Crook finds beauty in the squalor and misery, his panels are brilliantly composed and the soft colours give things an otherworldly glow. His artwork remains radiant even when covering the darker side of life.

Make no mistake, this story is grim. It’s dark as a moonless night, with issues such as addiction, abuse, death and self-loathing covered in a refreshingly frank yet compassionate manner. Yet Maberry injects a little gallows humour into proceedings, preventing this tale from becoming overwhelmingly bleak. The freaky nature of Trick’s situation – not only are vampires real, but his cancer is the only thing stopping them from killing him – allows for some amusing little touches as he tries to research vampires. Where else would one find a vampire hunter nowadays but on Craigslist?

The art is beautiful and the writing is top notch. Do yourself a favour, if you’re not already reading this series, START READING THIS SERIES.

Rating: 5/5.

The writer of this piece was: Joe Morrison
Joe is Freelance film journalist based in Glasgow.
You can also find Joe on Twitter.

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