Written by Mark Landry | Art by Richard Pace | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp
Four issues in and Bloodthirsty has been a great book so far, mixing up a big mish-mash of action, conspiracy, boo hiss bad guys, morally conflicted good guys, and a backdrop that can be both seedy and beautiful. Any one of those elements on their own is interesting, but throwing them all together into a book and making them not only work, but work really well, takes a lot of skill. You would never know Mark Landry is a novice comic book writer as he handles plot, pacing, and character so well. He also has a nice line in cliffhangers, each issue leaving us really wanting to pick up the next to see what is coming.
Last issue saw Virgil further develop into a heroic persona, fuelled by the grief of his brother’s death and the realisation that some very bad people were behind the conspiracy tightening its hold on New Orleans and its people. Immortality for sale, but only to the rich of course, the rest are expendable in the most literal sense. Virgil wasn’t happy about that, and planned to infiltrate big baddy Simon Wolfinger’s party at which all the great and not-so-good would be gathered. The poorer and not-bad-at-all of New Orleans were being herded together in Wolfinger’s stadium, on the face of it to protect them from the imminent storm, but in reality to get them ready for harvesting. Now or never time for Virgil.
Using the eyes he, er, borrowed last issue from a Wolfinger acolyte Virgil infiltrates the party, where writer Landry uses Wolfinger as an evil cipher to deliver an impassioned plea for the rich to stop taking so much,(Wolfinger’s literally blood sucking rich are not too subtle anyway) and for society to reflect fairness and equality. It is perhaps a little heavy handed, but consistent with the social justice that drives Virgil as a character, and Landry has made no secret of his real-life feelings concerning the mismanagement and rebuilding of New Orleans, with corporate interests given priority over average citizens. Preachy but a good read is a hard balance to find, but Landry nails it well for my money.
As Virgil reveals himself at the party and earns a rematch with Mother Taneesha, suspicious Detective Fontenot has realised what is going on at the Dome and asks people to quickly leave before it’s too late. As people try to leave, corrupt armed police block the doors and make them stay. Remember those cliffhangers I mentioned earlier? Well Writer Landry leaves us with three this week. Hurricane Rose is about to hit New Orleans, thousands are trapped by Wolfinger in his Dome, and Virgil is personally left in about as bad a situation as could be imagined (hint, it involves syringes and Wolfingers blood formula).
With all the exposition out the way last issue, Bloodthirsty #4 just concentrated on the action and the culmination of Wolfinger’s scheme and Virgil’s attempt to stop it. It zipped along nicely, and again felt well plotted and well thought out. We had a change of artist this issue as well, with Richard Pace replacing the excellent Ashley Witter. It was quite an artistic change stylistically, which was a little jarring at first. I found the art to be good in its own right, but not as good as Witter’s had been, and it lacked the polish that Witter had. On its own merits though, perfectly fine.
Another good quality issue. A slight dip from the last, as I do hate artistic changes in the middle of a storyline but still, Bloodthirsty #4 is well worth picking up.
Bloodthirsty #4 is available now from Titan Comics