Written by Mark Landry | Art by Ashley Witter | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp
So far Bloodthirsty has been a very promising start to an intriguing, and very different series. A dash of exotic New Orleans, a dash of politics and social commentary, and a big pinch of larger than life characters and situations. It’s been an enjoyable ride so far, and I started reading through issue 3 hoping that writer Mark Landry and artist Ashley Witter could not only maintain that quality, but even raise it a notch. I was also looking for the thematic touches to continue, and was pleased to see they did; this issue, corruption of the soul and the evolution of a hero were the most obvious themes, ones that co-exist nicely.
Last issue had taken us closer to Virgil discovering that some sort of conspiracy had taken hold of New Orleans, and got closer to discovering just why his brother Trey was murdered. Virgil was also in something of a race against time, both for own personal safety and the fact a huge storm will soon hit the city. This issue we hit the ground running as Trey’s girlfriend Mary reveals to Virgil that the success of Trey’s life longevity project saw him murdered by Simon Wolfinger, or ‘Uncle Simon’, who plans to offer immortality to anyone who can afford it. Virgil’s revulsion is only made worse by discovering that blood is consumed by Uncle Simon’s group, including his own brothers.
Virgil’s list of problems extends further as he now has the police on his trail, before then being blown up, crashing into the river after being targeted by Mother Taneesha. When he comes to, he finds himself amongst a small group of people, including a priest who knows all about the hemovores, as he calls them, as he used to work at The Rising Sun; it was known that Wolfinger, Mother Taneesha (the cross dressing assassin from last issue) and the Hell’s Belles were all murdering people to sustain themselves, and those were the bodies Virgil encountered ten years previously during Hurricane Katrina.
That was a nice connection of the dots by Landry, linking the past and present even more, showing us perhaps that Virgil was always going to be on this journey. Virgil decides to crash a party at which all the rich and corrupt of New Orleans will be in attendance, and has to use a particularly brutal method to try and ensure entry. That, however, is a story for next issue.
Although in a good way, this was something of a strange issue, seemingly filled with plenty of action yet also filled with plenty of exposition to move the overall story forward. I guess that’s just good writing. We learn a lot about what is both going on now, and how that came to be, so it was quite a pivotal issue in the series, and leaves the way clear for some great action and resolution in the future. I have nothing but praise for Landry’s writing, it just flows so nicely you have finished the book before you know it. It is all very straight forward though, no moral ambiguity here. Simon Wolfinger is big business/ evil personified, Virgil is the heroic little guy fighting the system.
Ashley Witter continues to deliver strong art, always with a focus on the foreground though and a little lack of detail on backgrounds. Not necessarily a bad thing, as his figures and panel layouts are very good, but something I did notice. The colouring palette is also put to good use, with very muted colours showing us the air of despair hanging over the city. Bright colours when used, like explosions, show up vividly.
Another good issue, and again one that makes you want to come back next month to see what happens next. Top stuff.
Bloodthirsty #3 is out now from Titan Comics