Story: Tim Seeley
Art: Corin Howell
Colorist: Mark Englert
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
What They Say:
Rural vampire Chip may have just caused a massive urban vampire war in the streets of Chicago. And he seems kinda happy about it.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Dark Red shifted to a bigger part of the story in the previous issue with Tim Seeley bringing together the two main stories that were ongoing separately. I’ve enjoyed Seeley’s take on this particular world but felt that he had gone bigger and wider than it should have this early. I’d really hoped for another tale “back home” in order to connect with the characters better. It’s definitely fun and Corin Howell’s artwork drives that home well here. While dealing with some of the more surreal visual aspects of it since it’s were’s versus vampires, she handles the action wonderfully with a good sense of impact to it. It’s not chaotic and problematic to follow making for a good read in seeing how each blow lands and how the characters move about.
Bringing Chip and McCobb into what’s going on with the vampires has him realizing quickly that the Centress has manipulated a lot of what’s going on. Evie’s not felt right with a lot of what’s happening but she had little choice in a way in moving forward with it as well, but the arrival of Chip brings in more options for her. With the were’s that are there just behind him, it turns into chaos pretty quickly as they want revenge for what happened to Papa Bear back at the zoo – which is now under police investigation, no less! – and they’re ready to claw it up with the suckers. It’s not an area where you get a ton of real definitely because it is the faceless masses going at it when you get down to it, but it provides for a good level of violence as it unfolds and it ratchets up the tension pretty well.
What takes it up a few notches is that as it embroils more of the vampires, Centress sees this as a chance to rewrite what’s going on. She has, as she says, lost track of the plot with what she was planning with Evie and has decided to go for a different route. What’s brutal is that she starts this off with McCobb coming at her and eliminates him from the story entirely. He wasn’t a longtime character by any means but it was amusing watching him and Chip on their journey only to come to this end. With Chip already weak and drained, he’s not able to do much so it falls to others to step up in the short term. But all that’s really there are Evie and Stu and neither of them are able to do all that much to push back against someone as old and skilled as Centress, which pushes us toward the next issue where it’s going to get worse for them.
While Dark Red doesn’t feel as tight or intense as the first arc did, it’s definitely having a lot of fun here with the carnage of the Eventide vampires and what plot that Centress has going on. When one is alive for centuries it’s easy to imagine them getting bored and coming up with plans like this just to amuse themselves regardless of the impact on others. Seeley keeps us moving through the beats well as the fight unfold and dominates the book. And Howell is able to deliver a great looking for it as the physicality hits some sweet moments and there’s a good sense of real stakes involved even while dealing with weres and vampires.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: January 8th, 2020