Blood Syndicate: Season One #1 – Geoffrey Thorne, Writer; ChrisCross, Penciller; Juan Castro, Inker; Wil Quintana, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The first wave of Milestone revivals gave us three of the imprint’s most iconic superheroes—but none of its teams. That changes with the arrival of Blood Syndicate, but if people were expecting this to be a traditional superhero team, they might be surprised. This is probably the least superhero-like book of the line so far, instead going for a gritty look at what happens to the average person when superheroes take up residence in their neighborhood. It focuses on two soldiers—serious Hannibal and happy-to-be-out Roland—as they return from a long stint in a brutal war zone and meet up with their old friend Carlos. While Hannibal is determined to turn away from his old life, Roland is quickly pulled back into Carlos’ charismatic orbit and may be about to go down a bad path—especially since the strategy of Icon and Rocket has left a massive hole in Dakota City’s illicit-goods market.
But any trouble that Carlos brings is dwarfed by the presence of this issue’s main villain, Holocaust. He’s definitely one of the most famous Wildstorm villains, but I’m also not sure the character’s aged all that well. You can’t really have a character named Holocaust yelling for people to say their name repeatedly without it being awkward. While he seems like a bit of a flat character so far—albeit based only on a few panels—he definitely has the intimidation factor down perfectly and that goes a long way. I was far more interested in the lead characters, as we get some surprises about what secrets they’re hiding. The main roster of Blood Syndicate is slowly forming, with some characters who will wind up as members briefly appearing in this issue. Overall, it’s a bit of a slow start, but it has some intriguing lead characters and a fast-paced feel that keeps the sense of danger going strong to the cliffhanger.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.