Nazi Vampires In The Bible Belt: Dark Red #2

by Brendan M. Allen

Rural vampire Chip is dragged from his boring life as a late night convenience store clerk and into a monstrous conspiracy, as he protects the ravishing vampiress Kamille from the Order of Eventide.
Can Chip be the hero he always saw himself as?

In Dark Red #2, our humble caitiff Chip has a mess to clean up after the bloodbath at the end of the first chapter. His hand is forced with three thrall bodies to dispose of by dawn, leaving little option but to torch his humble single-wide and skip town before anyone notices he’s missing. It quickly becomes apparent he’s been set up, and now the kid has a whole lot of problems to solve before the sun comes up.

Tim Seeley presents Chip as a classic under-achiever, more than happy to simply survive as long as he can fly under the radar without being bothered. This Eventide group obviously thinks there’s more to the kid than he lets on, or even knows about himself. Most of the dialogue flows easily, and the characters generally make sense. There are a couple little hitches, but the series is young, and this is a very capable team. Those kinks will likely resolve in the long game.
Corin Howell and Mark Englert get to cut loose with the gore in this chapter right from the opening sequence. Avulsion, impalement and spontaneous globe luxation! Oh, my! Everything is slightly caricatured, which leans into Dark Red’s twisted sense of humor and highlights nuanced emotion. Englert’s palette is muted and slightly grainy, which makes that bright red blood pop.

I’ve been running into an awful lot of recent new series where the first and second issues really could have been condensed into a single chapter. My biggest complaint about Dark Red is exactly that. This is a clever satire, highlighting and exposing pertinent social issues through a horror lens, but the pacing is a little clunky out of the chute.

Dark Red #2, AfterShock Comics, released 24 April 2019. Created by Tim Seely (script) and Corin Howell (art), color by Mark Englert, letters by Marshall Dillon.

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