Story: Tim Seeley
Art: Corin Howell
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
What They Say:
Chip is faced with two options…run like hell from a town he’s lost to Nazi vampires, or team up with a pair of barely sober hicks who hate him in order to rescue the woman he loves. Tough choice.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Dark Red has been a pretty interesting book with what it’s introduced so far but it’s also compacting a lot of things to get it done within the main arc that it’s been alotted. Tim Seeley can usually handle this kind of story well so that even if it feels like it’s moving too fast you’re getting a lot out of it that might be better handled in a more decompressed form and that’s holding true here. It continues to help that Corin Howell is bringing together everything with a great look as there are a lot of great angles taken and panel layout designs that keeps it flowing well. I love the rough look of it all and the way she captures the sensuality of some and the hard knock life of others, giving it a consistent vibe but with enough uniqueness.
The expanded focus on Ashen Black now that Victory is dead makes plenty of sense and it’s interesting to watch as she copes with a lot of loss at the start and by the end is ready to get a true race war underway with plenty of meat to be consumed by her vampire flock. What helps to get her past her grieving is that Evie is brought in for a sacrifice as she produces a lot of red blood cells thanks to her cancer. That’s enticing in general to Ashen but she’s also drawn to how similar she is to Evie by being part of a people marginalized and made invisible to the world in the eyes of many. It’s seductive in how Ashen plies things here all while furthering her larger cause now that Victor is dead and she’s ready to take control of it for herself. It’s a chilling and dark piece by the end but it seems to fit her perfectly from what we see of her in just this issue.
For Chip, his story continues to be a rough one as he just wanted to be a “fringer” and live outside of the city orders, quiet and away from it all. And he even believes for a while that Ashen will be fine with this. But he has to rescue Evie as he owes her and it’s the right thing to do but he also has to deal with Stu and Cam. Stu’s less of an issue, asking the right questions and keeping his head down, but Cam is your standard type that feels like he’s owed so much and having not gotten it he’s going to make sure nobody else does either. That has him ready to work with Chip but with a huge amount of distrust that exists between them as Chip doesn’t trust anyone. It’s an interesting progression as they start at Fall’s End and move forward from there with Cam seeing a lot more than he expected and taking quite the hit during it all.
Dark Red takes things larger as we get a look at the City Order here that Ashen Black runs and it’s something that definitely has a lot of power, money, and history behind it that’ll make it interesting. We get glimpses of that but I like that it spends most of its time with Ashen getting to know Evie in her own twisted way while we get a different view of her through Chip. Chip, for his part, is just trying to get back on his feet after things went so far south in the town he had staked out and that means working to settle down both Stu and Cam with all that they’ve learned now. It plays well and while it doesn’t get me to like Cam in the slightest he at least proves himself to be a bit useful here for a few minutes before just taking one for the team.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: June 26th, 2019