Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blood and Water Trade Paperback Review

Blood and Water (aka Blood + Water)
DC Comics - Vertigo
Softcover Trade Paperback
128 pages
$14.99 (2009)
ISBN 9781401201753

Contributors: Judd Winick, Tomm Coker, Sno-Cone Studios, Digital Chameleon, Jason Wright, Kurt Hathaway, and covers by Brian Bolland

Reprints: Blood and Water #1-5 (of 5)

Synopsis: Adam Heller was a popular kid with a bright future.  All of his aspirations disappeared when he developed a terminal illness and the last few years have been spent slowly dying as his body breaks down. 

His only friends through this entire ordeal are Joshua and Nicole.  They help him feel human when he feels hopeless.  On the latest trip to the doctor he finally gets the news he's been waiting for - he's going to die of liver cancer.  It's all over, but Adam is somewhat relieved after enduring a living hell for so long. 

Josh and Nicky visit again and hear the dire news, but they react in a strange way.  They suddenly reveal to Adam that they are vampires and he has a chance to live forever in a perfect body.  After reeling from the revelation for awhile Adam agrees and sheds his diseased humanity for undead immortality. 

Reborn as a vampire Adam delights in his new life.  Even better he learns that vampires don't drink the blood of humans, but instead animal blood is adequate to keep them alive.  No messy moral guilt over killing a bunch of people.  Now he can party and have sex every night of the week without any consequences.  An easy, happy ending, right? 

Wrong.  Something is different with Adam and his undead birth awakens an ancient terror even vampires are afraid of.  Now the terror stalks Adam and his makers with a bloody showdown looming over their fun. 

Pros: Nice covers by Bolland, interesting spin on the vampire mythos by Winick, some good dialogue, Coker has decent art

Cons: Art is a bit inconsistent (nice covers, but interior art is a lot different), character designs for vampire monsters is pretty weak, some bad dialogue, gaping plot holes, series is too short to reasonably accomplish what Winick attempts to write

Mike Tells It Straight: I was intrigued by the premise and love a good vampire story (especially one that strays from the typical mythos).  Adam's plight with terminal illness and transformation into a vampire made some sense, but I didn't like Josh and Nicky as characters.  They didn't ring true and why would they hang around a dying mortal for so many years?  Just didn't jive with my sensibilities. 

Then things got worse as the ancient vampire monsters started stalking them.  We're introduced to vampire society which was not very impressive and fast forward to a final showdown.  Overall I was left unsatisfied with the whole thing (not to mention the vampire monsters ended up being lame).  Felt like Winick had to cram a lot into a mere five issues.  No sequel or follow ups on the horizon (i.e. no chance for redemption here).  Overall low recommendation. 

TO BUY and Recommendations: