“BLOOD FEUD #2” (Comic Book Review)Books/Art/Culture,News,Reviews Svetlana Fedotov
No one can tell a southern ghost story quite like Cullen Bunn. Author of such down-home tales as Dark Horse’s HARROW COUNTY and Oni Press’s THE SIXTH GUN (as well as a very impressive resume with Marvel and DC), Bunn has been spinning scary yarns for most of his career. So it’s no surprise that when Oni Press was offered a WEIRD TALES version of the classic vampire story by Mr. Bunn, they jumped at the chance. What emerged was BLOOD FEUD, a story of monsters, good ol’ boys, and a centuries old family feud that threatens to take over an entire time. Currently on its second issue, the BLOOD FEUD continues onto a fateful showdown between man and beast.
The comic revolves around three poker buddies, Cecil, R.F., and Jack, who spend their days working and fishing and nights placing bets on their hands. Narrated by R.F., we get a panoramic view of their town, Spiders Creek, which includes some of the darker families in their little corner of small-town paradise. Families such as the Whatleys and the Stubbs, the former having what R.F.’s granddaddy calls “the witches touch,” and the latter… well, not much is said about them. Soon, strange things begin happening around town, including mass spider migrations and grotesque diseased frogs, but proves to be only the tip of the iceberg when a college-aged girl knocks on their door at night and begs for help for a man who was attacked in the woods. As they search the woods for the cause of his wounds, they quickly discover the real monsters that lurk among the trees.
The second issue jumps right into the action as our protagonists fight with the monstrous Whatley brood. Thirsty for blood and armed to the teeth, with, well, huge teeth, R.F. and Jack aim to get home before the creatures beat them to it. Of course, nothing is ever that easy as it turns out the man they helped didn’t exactly get away unscathed.
BLOOD FEUD is a solid comic for those who are tired of traditional vampires and yet can’t entirely let them go. The creature designs are more barbaric and animalistic than what we’ve been seeing lately. Each one comes with huge jaws and bony fingers and are very reminiscent of the monsters from 30 DAYS OF NIGHT as they move in packs and attack by night. Yet, oddly enough, they still succumb to traditional vampire rules such as mortal damage to the heart or head and, more obscurely, the inability to cross moving water. It’s interesting to see the juxtaposition of the old-fashioned and the re-imagined with Bunn’s creation of a hillbilly vampire clan.
The story itself is pretty straightforward at this point. Small town, vampires, a curse maybe? There’s a fair bit of monster bashing, which is always fun to see, and currently, there are a lot more questions than answers, enticing the reader to see how far down the rabbit hole goes. Perhaps the only real complaint is the ‘ma pappy had a sayin’,’ down-South dialogue does get pretty old. While it’s charming at first, it ends up feeling forced after the initial introduction of the town and its inhabitants.
The art shared by Drew Moss and Nick Filardi is clean with a very finished work to it. There is no wasted lines or squiggly facial features and instead feature a pair of men who know exactly what they’re doing and how it’s going to get done. Even the spread scenes of Spider Creek are beautifully laid out and create a very complete look to the story. If the second issue of BLOOD FEUD is any indication, the series will continue bringing all kinds of spooks and scares to keep ya a-chillin’ into the night. Just watch out for the spiders.
BLOOD FEUD #2 is on stands now.