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Undone By Blood 1 Main

"Undone by Blood #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by AfterShock Comics

article-cover

Written by Zac B. Thompson and Lonnie Nadler
Illustrated by Sami Kivela
Colored by Jason Wordie
Lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 12th, 2020

Review:

Ethel Grady Lane rolls into the town of Sweetheart looking to solve a murder. She’s not afraid to bust a few skulls to get this information either. She has a personal stake in this, as her family members were the victims. A bad attitude and a six shooter might not be enough to tackle the pain and bloodshed heading her way.

There are quite a few questions at the start of Undone by Blood. Writers Zac B. Thompson and Lonnie Nadler provide just enough information to hook us. Based on how this is presented, you can’t help but get pulled into Ethel’s story. I’m dying to know how she came to Sweetheart, what happened to her family, and how she thinks she’ll take out the people responsible for the deaths of her family members.

Undone by Blood is interspersed with excerpts from a western novel. Colorist Jason Wordie differentiates these pages with a faded tone, giving life to the prose in the old book Ethel is reading. There are some parallels to the young woman’s story, but these pieces didn’t quite work. They kill the momentum as the focus shifts away from Ethel and there’s a good amount of text, so you’ll breeze through other scenes and then spend a a lot of time in this fictional space about a cowboy without a direct connection to what’s going on. Again, there are some parallels and maybe these serve another purpose in connecting some dots, but it wasn’t really for me.

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I sincerely wish artist Sami Kivela drew everything. The man is incredibly talented and creates some of the best artwork in the business. Not only that, his art direction is unmatched. His work instantly raises the quality of every comic it touches and Undone by Blood is no different. Just look at Ethel’s character. You have an idea of her personality from the moment you lay eyes on her. You can practically see the chip on her shoulder. Granted, it’s a valid one since her family was murdered.

Speaking of the murder, there are a couple of quick flashes to what I’m assuming is the brutal act. These pop up as frightening glimpses into the bloodshed, giving us a faint idea of what we can expect as we get deeper into the story. This all comes together to build an incredible amount of anticipation.

Kivela breaks up the images with smaller panels focused on specific details. I am a huge fan of this effect, as it really fleshes out a scene. These are little elements that you might have missed in a traditional comic, however a movie or TV show would have had them in there as set dressing and whatnot.

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Ethel’s journey is not without its obstacles. She encounters a big one by the end of this issue and there’s a tremendous amount of foreboding here. Shadows loom around her as she sits broken and afraid. Letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou adds a tremble to her voice as she reaches up for help. It’s a gut punch to see and it contrasts with the confident badass that started this story.

Undone by Blood is a solid tale of vengeance that’s just getting started. It has an undeniably impressive hook that will grab you from the jump. This is like a bloodier version of Justified, mixing noir and western elements to produce a solid read full of suspense.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fivestars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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