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Bloodlines #1 Review

Based on the cover and title one might assume Top Cow Publishing or Image Comics had a new series in the works. Ripped muscles, girls wearing next to nothing and strange energy effects emanating from characters sounds like 90’s comic nostalgia to me, but is it good?

Bloodlines #1 (DC Comics)

A new series that’s a bit more for adults and it’s not Vertigo! Well DC Comics, what’s your solicit say:

When a meteor crashes to Earth, bringing with it an unspeakable alien presence that terrorizes a nearby small town, the lucky ones die first. As for the rest, they find themselves locked in a hellish struggle for control of their bodies and their minds. This isn’t just an invasion. It’s an infestation. What would you do if the greatest threat to humanity was hidden away inside you?

It’s worth noting Bloodlines was a crossover event in 1993 that introduced new superheroes that gained powers from alien parasites.

Why does this book matter?

Writer J.T. Krul is best known for his work on Fathom and artist V. Ken Marion brings a highly detailed Jim Lee vibe to the comic. Sounds rad, plus this is a new series in the DC lineup which makes me wonder how soon before we see the creatures on the cover of a crossover with a superhero.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

V. Ken Marion definitely draws a nice book with some interesting perspectives thrown in to keep it interesting. I thoroughly enjoy the little details he’s infused into the characters (like some gnarly piercings on Haley) and a monster deer that’s turned into a demon. Much of this book is focused on high school kids basically going to school with only the last few pages showing off some monster mash stuff, but you won’t be bored looking at these pretty pictures.

Krul does a solid job setting up the protagonist Eddie who I believe is dealing with some kind of muscular issue like ALS (it’s never actually mentioned what is wrong with him). He’s a good kid and the captions do well to establish his somewhat depressed outlook on life. He’s just the right type of person to excel at the opportunity of superpowers due to his outlook on life and his crushing disability.

Much of this issue introduces the remaining characters, although it’s too early to tell who will be a major player and why they matter. Their characters shine through quite clearly and Krul establishes their quirks well.

It can’t be perfect can it?

By issue’s end you’ll be scratching your head as to why anything is happening and why you should care. I’m not sure enough happened to hook a casual reader because I for one wasn’t interested in the mystery. Clearly something is going on, but that solicit is telling in that it actually offers more information than the narrative does. This issue needs more spectacle to work and so far it’s more teen soap opera than anything else. It’s clear the deer goes nuts due to the meteor, but what about Eddie? There are no clues, so as a reader we’re simply observing rather than given the opportunity to speculate and that reduces interest.

Is It Good?

Well written characters and a strong ensemble is one thing, but this first issue lacks the spectacle and storytelling to make you want to learn more. I’ll stick around for issue #2, but you’ll want more after reading this so-so first issue.


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