This month marked the release of the second issue of the dark, post-Katrina vampire series, Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water (written by Mark Landry and with artwork by Ashley Witter), published by Titan Comics. As I mentioned in my previous review, not all of the villains in Bloodthirsty wear a set of fangs, and Landry and Witter’s second issue takes Coast Guard veteran Virgil Lafleur deeper into the dark, ragged street society of post-Katrina, as well as bringing him closer to those responsible for his brother’s death. Still, if Lafleur isn’t careful, he could easily share his brother’s fate.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water #2 picks up with Virgil rapidly making progress regarding the mystery of who killed his younger brother and why. Eventually, Virgil’s actions lead him to the Rising Sun Cabaret, where their special “house red” is kept chilled for those special guests.
With his second issue, Landry takes his grounded, authentic-feeling story and begins to weave in a number of subtle “flavors.” His slow-burning script clearly features a heavy, crime-noir influence in regards to its shady cast of characters, unraveling murder mystery, and dame who’s in over her head, but Landry also seems to be also laying the ground work for an urban, superhero origin story. It remains to be seen how these story elements will play out, but the writing on the wall seems to be there, given Virgil’s ruminations on the definitions of evil and justice, his realizations regarding the power of symbols that give hope to the masses, and, of course, his adoption of a “costume” before heading off to face his brother’s killers. I mentioned in my last review that I believed that Landry would be playing with the theme of the powerful feeding off the weak in more ways than one, and this evolution of Virgil’s character would easily fall in line with that thematic element of Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water.
Witter’s artwork continues to be an excellent match for Landry’s script, and she delivers a beautiful, stand-out cover for this issue. Much of the credit for the dark, gritty, yet grounded tone must be given to Witter’s style and talent.
FINAL VERDICT: While, obviously, I’d recommend picking up Issue #1 first, Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water #2 continues the positive elements of the first issue of the series, while expanding the world and background of the characters. Some more eager (or less patient) fans might find the slower pacing frustrating, but if you dig dark, methodical, character-based stories, this should be a pleasing addition to your comic book collection.
You can find out more about Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water at the official website. Issue#2 was released on November 4th, 2015.
Also, be sure to check out my review of Issue #1 at the following link:
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers.
’Till the end of the world,
Bryant the Comic Book Slayer