REVIEW: ‘Blood Oath,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Blood Oath #1

Blood Oath #1 is published by New Wave Comics as a ComiXology Original, written by Rob Hart and Alex Segura, art by Joe Eisma, colors by Hilary Jenkins, and letters by Jim Campbell. The year is 1927, the place Staten Island. Hazel spends her days working as a simple farmer, not unlike so many others. Or at least, that’s how it seems. To keep her farm alive and to continue supporting her younger sister Geraldine, Hazel has become part of the bootlegging racket that Prohibition America is so famous for. But while she has prepared herself for rival gangs or raids by the Feds, something far more terrifying is coming to visit the farm tonight.

Blood Oath #1 succeeds at the most basic duty of a first issue; it establishes its narrative. By the end of the story, the reader has a full picture of what the story intends to deliver, as well as a general understanding of the personalities that will drive the tale. But while it does a good job of laying the groundwork for the story to come, there isn’t a lot to be found that sets the issue apart as something to follow.

It feels like the element that Blood Oath #1 wants to use most to sell itself is the combination of its time period and the horror twist it applies to it. Sadly, this doesn’t feel all that unique as the early 1900s has been a staple in horror due to the popular works of H.P. Lovecraft. So rather than feeling unique, it feels like another trudge through familiar territory.

Much like the story itself, the accompanying visuals deliver a presentation that is adequate but never captivating. Hazel’s day is delivered in a way that is clear and well executed but never goes beyond that. If a bit more flair or creativity in the layouts and angles had been implemented, it might have helped the story land with a bit more energy. This basic but effective description fits the coloring just as aptly. All the coloring makes sense, and objects in each scene are easily discernable from each, thanks to solid contrasting colors being utilized. While these are important aspects of coloring, I wish a bit more of the comic’s emotions might have been drawn out through more creative color use.

Wrapping up the book’s presentation is the lettering. The lettering does a clear job of presenting the story’s dialogue. It also does a great job with how it crafts the story’s sound effects. The action in some key panels is greatly augmented by the lettering’s powerful sound delivery.

Blood Oath #1 delivers a solid start to its tale when all is said and done. While no element manages to set it apart from other offerings out there, it lays a strong enough foundation that better things may yet come along.

Blood Oath #1 is available digitally from ComiXology.


Blood Oath #1
3.5

TL;DR

Blood Oath #1 delivers a solid start to its tale when all is said and done. While no element manages to set it apart from other offerings out there, it lays a strong enough foundation that better things may yet come along.

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