Van Helsing Annual 2020: Bloodlust
Van Helsing is given her very first annual comic in the 64-page story titled Bloodlust and it’s certainly a very bloody story indeed! This is a great jumping on point for those looking to get into Van Helsing comics but it also brings an exciting new fold in the mythos of the character for longtime fans.
Van Helsing 2020 Annual: Bloodlust is a comic that, like most Zenescope titles, knows exactly what it is and what it seeks to accomplish. It isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel but it does take what makes the character so fun and elevate it to give fans a comic that is honestly enjoyable. It’s a great example of the types of stories you can find at Zenescope, bringing in badass women with a horror influence and pitting them against some of the scariest monsters and otherwise you can think of.
The writing from Brusha does enough to keep you interested without getting bored, even for an oversized issue such as this. The dialogue can get a bit unwieldy at times but that’s about the only downfall. Otherwise, readers will be treated to a wonderful take on Van Helsing with her newest partner Julie Jekyll as they confront yet another demon that men-dominated organizations just can’t seem to get under control. Liesel’s wit and humor come through strongly in this issue and it serves the story well, offsetting the violent nature in a great way.
With annual books, it’s too often the case that they remain inconsequential in the hopes of appealing to a larger audience and making the book an easy buy for fans. This one strays from that by bringing a new villain into the story partially created by none other than Dracula himself, who is keenly inspired by the classic vision of the character that fans of the 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula might recognize. This new vampire comes from tragic origins but is deadly nonetheless, making him more interesting than the typical monster with a lust for blood.
The book finds much of its strength in the solid artwork from everyone involved. Daniel Maine has been putting out great work for Zenescope lately like with titles like Shang and more, and the Van Helsing 2020 Annual is certainly no different. He pulls off some spectacular splashes that make the issue just a ton of fun to read. With the help of Taylor Esposito’s always strong lettering, the issue is frenetic when the story demands it to be and cohesive when you need it most.
Fans of Zenescope’s work will find plenty to enjoy in this issue and it even sets up some potentially interesting concepts moving forward. For those who might be interested but are unsure where to start, this is a great book to pick up and see just what the publisher is all about. If you are into badass action-horror women taking on bloodthirsty demons, this is a book for you.
Van Helsing 2020 Annual: Bloodlust is simply a lot of fun, bringing in plenty of action-packed violence and just the right amount of humor to give readers a book that is definitely worth picking up for both new fans and longtime readers alike.
Van Helsing Annual 2020: Bloodlust – You Need a Stake in Your Heart
Writing - 8.5/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 9.5/10
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