Blood Tree #2
What was just another week for Detective Azzaro turned into one plagued with obsession. The aptly named Angel Killer continues his spree of murders leaving behind malformed corpses of religious implications. Motivations only grow deeper as Azzaro himself begins to unearth the theological reasoning behind these 'Angel Suicides'.
BLOOD TREE #2 continues to do what issue #1 did best. It is a pulpy horror-noir story deeply steeped in religious metaphors that stir uneasy questions within our main characters. With all the establishing work in issue #1 behind us, this chapter focuses more on Detective Azzaro’s relationship with obsession.
Tomasi does a great job at keeping what is admittedly surface-level storytelling entertaining. He’s an author whose work with characters is nothing short then well-done and relatable. How this case takes away from his family life and stirs up questions about his son’s relationship with cruelty and death are expressed without glorification or condemnation. The story is presented as though the panels were nothing more than a camera recording the events. As such, issue #2 maintains honesty with its darker themes that remain utterly realistic. The escalation of our characters’ mindsets and relationships is entirely natural, resulting in a barbecue scene that was the highlight of this chapter.
That being said, the story’s themes remain muddled at the moment. I’m sure that the story’s religious implications will come to fruition by the series’ end. Still, it isn’t tying into the central ‘nature v. nurturing one’s obsession’ theme that seems to play out through Azzaro’s handling of the Angel Killer case. While the murderer’s obsession with angel imagery is loose connective tissue, it has yet to reveal its deeper meanings. The plot can feel basic at times, which is not the worst thing to be. Essential can still be engaging, entertaining, and sound, all things BLOOD TREE #2 manages to be.
This issue does continue to tread darker waters in a nearly tasteless way. Still, Simic’s simple art style and Tomasi’s restraint keep the murders in case #2 from being reprehensibly gross and keep it readable. This can be extremely rare in pulp mystery fiction, but Tomasi isn’t an indulgent hack. There is something he’s trying to observe and say something about our character’s relation to obsession, and that remains the story’s focus, not just the grim machinations of our serial killer. At times, however, Simic’s more straightforward art style can make the story more realistic in moments where flair would lead to more effect on the visual narrative.
BLOOD TREE #2 continues to grow as high-tier pulp fiction. The plot moves at a quick pace balanced out by character exploration done neatly. While it may feel a little basic and bare in its execution, it's a classical serial killer mystery that is sure to tickle fans of the genre's fancy.
Blood Tree #2: And All the Angels Sang…
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10