Blood Syndicate #3
Things are starting to heat up in the battle for the soul of Paris Island with two factions vying for control; Holocaust’s gang and plucky heroes of Carlos’ crew. With superpowers on both sides, can the neighborhood itself survive the carnage?
The future is in absolute peril.
In the last issue, readers got to delve into some of the backstory surrounding Rolando’s friend Hannibal as he slowly slips back into the gang life that he tried so hard to get away from. But a chance encounter with Holocaust left all of Hannibal’s old crew dead, leaving him as the only survivor. This issue splits the difference by shifting focus between all of the principle characters at various points and commenting on themes of how police don’t often help in black neighborhoods unless it spills over into more white populated areas, leading to the community needing to save itself and how gang violence often leads to senseless death.
Geoffrey Thorne does a great job of illustrating these points when Rolando finds that Carlos and his boyfriend, alongside Sara and a water based hero named Aquamaria have a small band that have been trying to stop the conscription and murders of various bang babies and metahumans. At the same time, Holocaust is shown to continuously endanger the lives of civilians and those around him in the pursuit of power, especially when it comes to wanting Hannibal to join his gang. It’s effective storytelling that continues the Milestone Mission of blending superheroes with modern day issues and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I also very much enjoyed the possible direction that Sara, aka Flashback, could be taking in future issues as readers are allowed to see a glimpse of the possible future of the Dakota-verse as a large scale battle rages with the other Milestone heroes fighting some sort of interdimensional threat, which means we could get a crossover event in some time. This also futhers to illustrate just how important Sara and her friends are as one of the heroes in the battle tells her to warn them when she travels back to her time period.
Art duties are split between artists Tom Raney and ChrisCross for the flash forward and present day scenes respectively.
Tom Raney’s style is very well suited for big superhero storytelling, as seen during his time on Ultimate X-Men and DC’s Outsiders series. He’s seamlessly able to move from nice, sequential paneling as Sara moves through time until planting herself in the middle of a mass battle. The second page splash is a mass of bodies and colors, but does a great job of drawing the eyes around the various parts of the page through the various depths of characters and positions. His art is even further lifted by Wil Quintana’s coloring, in that he uses a lot of hazy purples around Sara’s time travel powers, but is then able to transition to using vibrant blues for powers, golds for armor and reds to show the intensity of background actions.
ChrisCross then takes over for the rest of the book with a very dynamic and highly expressive style. All of the action in this book is very high energy, from Aquamaria taking down the gangbanger who blew up Carlos’s shelter in the first issue to the final few pages with the crew all team up to save Hannibal from Holocaust, there’s a palpable sense of urgency to everything. Aquamaria’s water movements look fluid yet brutal as they crash and throw the lackey back and forth and Holocaust’s flame feel like they’re liable to come off the page with the power that they radiate through the destruction seen in the panels. But the story shines in the calm moments when characters embrace and have very distinct looks in their faces, showing concern and determination at various points.
Wil Quintana’s colors further help this book by being so very distinct and making the book feel alive. Sara’s purple color schemes convey ideas of untapped power as it appears that even she is unaware of the depths that she’s able to travel in time. Aquamaria’s water is given a teal coloring that looks really good on the page and greatly contrasts with the neutral blues of the skies during the daytime and the sterile grays of the police precinct in later scenes. Though the best use of color has to be the bright oranges and reds of Holocaust’s flames, They burn very brightly and show the sheer danger that his powers can convey, especially as they burn a man away into a skeleton.
Juan Castro’s inks do a great job of giving the book a sense of depth and texture. All of the clothing is properly creased and all of the shadows feel full. The inks really give some great definition to ChrisCross’ lines, giving each character a defined outline and separating them from background elements. Though, as previously stated in the last issue, the only problem I have is that the hair on most male characters is just solid black without any texturing.
This was a pretty good issue of Blood Syndicate. The story is engaging and there are even more mysteries unfolding throughout its pages. The entire team behind this book are doing a fantastic job and the outcome is absolutely great!
Blood Syndicate #3: Choosing Sides
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 8.5/108.5/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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