Review – Bad Blood #4 (of 5) (Dark Horse)

23770Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Jonathan Maberry
Artist: Tyler Crook
Release Date: 2nd April 2014

Terminally ill teenager Trick and his heroin addicted friend Lolly are bringing the fight to the enemy in their war with a vengeful vampire clan. Under the tutelage of elderly, vampire-hunting bad-ass Jonas Vale, Trick and Lolly have grown in self-belief and ability. For the first time in a long time, these two not only have a purpose in life but also the means to fulfill that purpose.

The artwork by Tyler Crook is, once again, lushly coloured and expertly composed. Action sequences flow wonderfully and there are a few excellently mounted splash pages which draw the eye. Best of all though is Crook’s character work. The gradual change in Trick and Lolly from downtrodden, emotionally broken victims to empowered and determined survivors has been beautiful to witness. With a brighter colour palette than previous issues and some subtle work with framing, body posture and settings, Bad Blood #4 expresses this change in the characters with aplomb.

Horror novelist Maberry confidently expands on conventional vampire mythology, and offers some interesting insights into the nature of these supernatural creatures. These are the vampires of old European folklore rather than Hollywood, with strange and disturbing quirks seldom seen in the cinematic strain of the monster. However, all this deepening of the mythos comes at the expense of story momentum and this issue is essentially a training montage punctuated by exposition scenes.

While this has been the weakest issue in the series so far, Bad Blood #4 is still strong work. The mythos of the vampires is fleshed out and deepened and the artwork is great. Even though it feels like a matter of simply putting things into place for the next issue the last page is a doozy, leaving everything set for a gripping final issue. It may have been slight, but this issue has still left me hungry for more.

Rating: 3/5.

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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