Blood, Bodies, and Bonfires. (Gasolina #2 Comic Review)

The farm mysteriously abandoned overnight, and upon investigation, its obvious something heinous has taken place as the entire farmhouse is the scene of a bloodbath.  Bodies torn open, mangled; Martin, alive, seriously wounded, possibly in shock, and rambling.  Before Randy and Mal can gain any useful details, the ‘cholo with two crosses’ tattooed over his eyes, Los Queridos, arrive to make sure the job is finished and that’s when things really begin to heat up!

Gasolina #2
Writer:  Sean Mankiewicz
Artist:  Niko WalterCover
Artist:  Niko Walter
Colorist:  Mat Lopes
Publisher:  Image Comics

What You Need to Know:

Gasolina is a new endeavor by Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment to present crime, drama, and horror, by combining the all too real ongoing drug cartel wars in Mexico, where homicide rates continue to soar at alarming rates, corruption is rampant, and the relationships of average people under such stresses are examined.  In addition, there is the presence of unexplained strange beetle-like bugs, grisly murders, and inhuman beings whose role is unclear thus far. Randy and Mal (Amalia) are trying to survive when they become entangled in the ongoing drug cartel war plaguing present-day Mexico.  After the kidnapping of Mal’s nephew, Quique, by the mysterious Los Queridos, a cartel that until recently hadn’t existed, but has gained notoriety quickly leaving their calling card, the patron saint, La Querida, at the scenes of their macabre blood baths.  Rumors are also circulating that Queridos is employing human as well as inhuman methods to annihilate their competition and ignite a war like no other the people of Mexico or the world has ever witnessed.  After the death of one migrant worker and the injury of another to undetermined causes, but something that looks like bite marks, Randy and Mal agree to make an exchange of money for Quique’s safe return.  They meet a strange man with what resembles upside down crosses tattooed over his eyes and return Quique safely to Hector’s farmhouse.  That evening, we witness the beginning of a gruesome massacre as an alien-like beast burst out of the child and kills Hector along with others.

What You’ll Find Out:

Upon returning to the farmhouse the day after the return of Mal’s nephew, the two find the sugarcane fields and the farmhouse mysteriously abandoned.  As they decide to investigate what has taken place, they enter the house armed, but with no idea what to expect.  As they search, room by room, they discover the gruesome scene of bodies ripped apart, blood practically everywhere.  They follow the trail of blood in hopes of finding a survivor, particularly Mal’s nephew Quique.  To their disappointment, Mal’s nephew is nowhere to be found, but they do stumble upon Martin, Mal’s brother and he is in such a state of shock he greets them with gunshots.  Luckily, no one is harmed in the exchange, and as Randy and Mal try and gather information about what happened from the rambling Martin, obviously suffering from shock,  he tells of screams and creatures crawling into the mouths of the deceased.  Before they can gather further insight into what has taken place, they all hear the sounds of trucks approaching; Los Queridos coming to complete the job.  Randy rushes to the armory to get whatever they can use to defend themselves.
As the caravan of Los Queridos arrives, the man with the cross tattoos orders his crew to clear the house, killing anything still living, sending them to La Querida.  Randy gives Martin a grenade he found in the armory as he is too badly wounded to travel, Martin plans on taking as many members of Queridos with him buying Randy and Mal time to escape.  As Randy and Mal make a quick exit thru the back of the farmhouse taking Martins truck with plans to head south, Los Queridos members, heavily armed, wearing bulletproof vests, begin to sweep the house in search of anyone left alive.  Upon finding Martin, he pulls the pin on his grenade, taking a few of the Queridos members with him in the explosion.
This turn of events does agitate the man with the cross tattoos, but he doesn’t seem too frustrated.  He orders his men to gather the bodies and burn them in a bonfire as a tribute to La Querida.  As the bodies burn, Randy and Mal flee unnoticed by the cartel members.  They notice the strange beetle-like creature swarming towards the burning bodies, leaving more unanswered questions.
What Just Happened?

Gasolina is an intriguing piece of work! More and more questions are raised by the disappearance of all farmhands and the empty farmhouse.  Martins explanations of events give Randy and Mal few answers with the exception that whatever happened wasn’t natural.  The behavior of  Los Queridos members after the deaths of their colleagues seems of little interest to the man with the crosses, and he seems to insinuate that all is going according to plan and that this is just the beginning of a war that will ignite Mexico and then the world in its infernal flames.
Rating: 7.5/10

Final Thought:  I find Gasolina an intriguing piece of work that leaves me wanting more.  The whole premise of the book is enticing, my only complaint is that each issue seems like a teaser and leaves me craving more.  I predict that we can expect good things out of Gasolina as the fire spreads, and I cannot wait to find out what the connection is between the man with crosses, the strange insects, and the creatures that burst from peoples chest much like Ridley Scotts ‘Aliens’.  Looking forward too what’s to come!





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