“TRUE BLOOD” #1 (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on March 20, 2011

TRUE BLOOD #1 (IDW Publishing), the first issue of a new miniseries, builds a knockout setup for its strong cast of characters. Something has gone horribly wrong with the vampire drink, Tru Blood. This manufactured beverage was supposed to be a synthetic solution to the bloodsucker’s thirst. Now the liquid spikes up their adrenaline uncontrollably, turning them into vicious creatures. This comic book captures the spirit of the television series and never loses momentum!

Hoyt, the hopeless romantic, wants to do something special for his girlfriend, Jessica. Bon Temps High is announcing their annual senior prom. Because she was home-schooled, Jessica never went to her prom and wonders if she missed out on something important. Downtrodden and mellow, she thinks back to the days when she used to be human. Now, as a night creature, Jessica wonders if those memories are truly necessary.

To impress his girlfriend, Hoyt does everything he can to make a prom just for Jessica. He wants to hold the event at Sam Merlotte’s bar, where she works. Remembering their high school days, all of Sam’s employees show interest in helping out Hoyt, especially Sookie Stackhouse. Making up for lost times, Sookie missed out on her prom and now wants to go with Sam as her date. This rendezvous will obviously anger Bill Compton, who is stalking them both from the shadows.

While the relationship between Jessica and Hoyt is growing, the world around them is falling apart. A wave of vampire attacks has suddenly spurted across the South. The media even wants to add that these acts of violence are the work of terrorists. Hate groups against vampires, including the Fellowship of the Sun, are on the rise and gaining new members. An intruder has entered the Tru Blood factory and added something to the vampire drink. At the prom, everyone is enjoying themselves and having a wonderful time. In a room full of vampires, imagine what will happen if one of them just takes a sip of the spiked drink.

The characters of novelist Charlaine Harris are explored even further, thanks to TV creator Alan Ball. Authors Marc Andreyko and Michael McMillian have a knack for dialogue, which will surely hook readers. The scribes give an appropriate amount of time to develop the supporting players. The best part of TRUE BLOOD’s Season 2 was the Fellowship of the Sun story arc. With actor Michael McMillian writing, this critic is interested in seeing what he does with his sly and snaky character, Reverend Steve Newland.

The pencils and inks by Joe Corroney are quite eye-appealing. Corroney isn’t focused on bringing a literal portrayal of the TV series. The artist keeps the essence in his style, while not forcing his characters to exactly resemble their counterparts. The impressive detail to the facial expressions is a major highlight of this edition.

If you’re seeking entertainment, TRUE BLOOD #1 is a solid bet. This issue uncovers creative ways of bringing in new TRUE BLOOD customers who may not be regular followers. With the set-up established, readers will undoubtedly be excited to see where the story goes from here. This critic also recommends Michael McMillian’s other comic book series, LUCID, which is an interesting mix of dark fantasy and spy adventure.