The Dark and Bloody #1 (DC/Vertigo)


CREDIT: DC/Vertigo

Rating: 4/5 – The Dark and Bloody Things Are Subtle in This Debut.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

I’ve written a lot about Vertigo’s relaunch and all the new titles coming out of it. Almost every book has been a must read for me and now another new series makes its premiere. The Dark and Bloody is set firmly in the horror genre, but those horrors have not made themselves all that clear just yet. Writer Shawn Aldridge and artist Scott Godlewski give us just a hint of what’s to come in terms of horror, but do a nice job of introducing us to the lead character(s).

The opening scene is a powerful one as we meet main character Iris Gentry. Iris is just seven years old and he’s given a task by his father that he doesn’t want to do. It’s a tough and emotional scene to watch, but it’s perfectly drawn by Godlewski. The first splash page frames the boy’s complete body in its three panels. The shadows are perfectly placed as well as perfectly colored by Patricia Mulvihill. From that scene we jump ahead twelve years as we see Iris in the army performing another haunting task within Iraq. Again, Mulvihill uses a beautiful mix of oranges and yellows to set the mood, smartly using those same colors to transition into present day Kentucky.

It’s here that we spend most of the time as Aldridge explores Iris, his family, and his friends in more detail. It’s in the present that we start to see just why this book is in the horror genre. We get a glimpse of what’s to come in later issues, but that glimpse was enough to have me excited to see more. Aldridge and Godlewski don’t put the horror front and center in this issue. Instead they choose to keep us and the horrors in the dark, using subtle touches to let us know there’s so much more to be revealed. It seems as though every book I read from Vertigo is another must read series and although we don’t get to see too much in this first issue, it’s enough to have The Dark and Bloody added to that list!

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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