‘Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water #1:’ Comic Book Review (Vampires, Vampires Everywhere . . . )

Ten years may have passed since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States, but the effects on the country and its people, both physically and psychologically, are still very, very fresh. Titan Comics latest horror comic release, Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water (written by Mark Landry and with artwork by Ashley Witter) digs deep into the pain, distrust, and desolate outlook on the future that Hurricane Katrina, and the events surrounding it, left in its wake. While, as the title suggests, there is a supernatural, vampiric element to this story, the first issue of Bloodthirsty establishes the series as an interesting and layered tale by focusing not only on the undead leeches, but also those who need no fangs to suck the life out of New Orleans and its people.

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water #1 tells the story of Coast Guard veteran Virgil Lafleur who lived through the events of Katrina, saving his brother’s life as well as many others, but, ultimately, lost his parents to the storm. To this day, his inability to rescue his mother and father has racked him with guilty, as well as the occasional flashback to that day, when he also witnessed a larger number of bodies floating in the water with their throats clearly slit. Dismissed by his peers as just another victim of Katrina’s fallout, Virgil attempts to leave town as, ten years later, a storm even bigger than Katrina starts on a crash course for New Orleans. Unfortunately, Virgil’s plans are ruined when mysterious and tragic events surrounding his younger brother force him to stay in town and unravel the dark and horrifying truth behind what’s truly going on under the surface in his own hometown.

Landry’s script comes off as authentic, intimately personal, and way more grounded in reality than one would imagine from what is, technically, a vampire comic. Landry’s characters feel real, the story elements surrounding the events of Katrina seem to naturally feed into the story’s narrative without being exploitative, and the author succeeds in building a creeping, ominous feel to the plot, similar to the tone of the first few seasons of The X-Files. While much of the supernatural elements are, for the most part, kept in the shadows, Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water #1 does hint that Landry will be playing with the theme of the powerful feeding off the weak in more ways than one.

Witter’s artwork meshes with Landry’s script beautifully, enhancing the emotional resonance of an already fairly powerful story. Witter seems able to deliver whatever is required of her, depicting wide shots of mass destruction, small, more personal character moments, and grim, bloody violence, all with ease, as well as impressive grace and style. While following writers is all the rage these days, I’d recommend checking out more of Witter’s work when you have the chance.


FINAL VERDICT: Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water #1 is a worthy purchase for those who appreciate good writing, gorgeous artwork, and supernatural horror rooted in our own world. Like Kirkman’s long-running The Walking Dead, Landry and Witter use Bloodthirsty as a way to examine the human condition through the horror genre lens, and the book is sure to forge deep connections with those who lived through or were affected by one of the deadliest hurricanes in American history.


You can find out more about Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water at the official Titan Comics website or on Facebook. Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water #1 was released on September 30th, 2015, and is current available on ComiXology.


That’s all for now, comic book sniffers.

’Till the end of the world,
Bryant the Comic Book Slayer
@ComicBookSlayer

Bryant Dillon, Fanbase Press President
Favorite Comic BookPreacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
Favorite TV ShowBuffy the Vampire Slayer
Favorite BookThe Beach by Alex Garland
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