Blood Syndicate #2
Rolando and Hannibal have just come home from a tour overseas to find their hometown vastly different than when they left. With new secrets of their own, will both men be able to find their way in the new landscape of superheroes and villains, or will old history threaten to tear them apart?
In the last issue, we were introduced to Rolando, Carlos and Hannibal; three natives of Dakota City’s Paris Island neighborhood. Throughout that issue, writer Geoffrey Thorne mainly focused on Rolando and Carlos as “Rolly” becomes reacclimated with the city after his tour in the fictional nation of Sadaqah. At the same time, however, Rolando’s friend Hannibal goes off on his own to also get back in touch with those he left behind and I can honestly say that I think his story is the far more interesting of the two.
Rolando is kind of a blank slate, the generic good boy who left town to “fight for freedom,” whereas Hannibal had a bevy of reasons to want to leave home that can hit home for a number of young black men that choose to go into active duty service. In this issue, Thorne presents Hannibal as this tortured soul who could never be god fearing enough for his family, sought out the brotherhood of a violent street gang because of the strained relationship, had a girlfriend who later had his child and then joined the military to get away from it all. All of this combined places a lot of pressure and great character moments on Hannibal that could be mined for a number of storylines and illuminates what he was like before the military.
ChrisCross and Juan Castro do a fantastic job with the art in this issue much like the last. ChrisCross is really good at laying out panels and making sure the flow of action is easy to follow. It’s great sequential storytelling, especially when it seems like this series is going for more of a slow burn kind of feel. His character faces are very expressive, from the increasingly angry faces Hannibal makes as he realizes he may not be able to see his child to the power hungry arrogance of Holocaust as he makes his appearance in this book. Juan Castro’s inks really help to make ChrisCross’s character’s stand out with very distinct outlines and make the art look really smooth as well. They also do a great job at giving each panel a sense of depth with each ripple and wrinkle of clothing being very apparent.
Wil Quintana’s colors do a great job of helping to set an emotional tone throughout the story. Blues helping to represent Hannibal’s past in the Blue Street Syndicate, many muted tones and yellows in the flashback to the incident that likely gave Hannibal his powers and a lot of bright and vibrant colors in the present scenes to give the book and Paris Island a sense of life. Of course, the best example of this being when Holocaust uses his powers to blow up the building where the Blue Street Syndicate is meeting. Quintana makes sure to use the hottest oranges and reds possible to really emphasize the danger and destruction that the supervillain is capable of.
One of the downsides to the book, however, is the same thing that I praised earlier; the sheer amount of trauma that is overloaded on Hannibal is insane, It might be realistic for some, but at the same time, there are so many angles and with these series tending to be about six issues, there’s hardly time to give each and every plot point the time it deserves to develop.
Overall, this was a very good issue of Blood Syndicate. Thorne, ChrisCross, Quintana and Castro are giving this book their all. While it falters in small areas, it’s still well worth your time!
Blood Syndicate #2: May Peace Be With You
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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