Writer: Geoffrey Thorne / Artist: ChrisCross / DC Comics
The Milestone “Dakotaverse” is more than just a win for the representation crowd. It’s shaping up to be an interesting experiment, seemingly an honest chance for original Black characters to stand and/or fall on their own steam. And for all intents and purposes, it seems to be chugging along just fine. This is where Blood Syndicate comes in.
Blood Syndicate #1 mainly revolves around Hannibal and Rolando, soldiers coming home from active duty back to their native hood, Paris Island. The narrative switches between how they’ve changed from the things they were forced to endure during their tour and their friend, Carlos, giving them the nickel tour of how things have changed. The major crime families have either been beaten or scared out of town not only since the Big Bang, but the rise of Icon and Rocket. But something else, something bigger is quietly galvanizing its forces to fill the power vacuum.
The smartest thing this script does is put you in the POV of these prodigal sons of Paris Island. This way, new readers can get up to speed about the status quo of the Dakotaverse. The other thing this script does well is put you in the mind of our heroes and what they went through during their tour in the armed forces. It doesn’t necessarily paint a PTSD narrative, but they don’t seem particularly proud of what they did over there which could be explored in later issues. ChrisCross’ artwork is every bit as exciting and lively in this book as it was when he drew the original book way back when. The flashbacks to active duty are appropriately tense and moody while the color palette of the present-day scenes is eye-catching and fun. There’s a panel that depicts a mural of Icon that is simply gorgeous showing off how fast ChrisCross can show off the changing moods in Geoffrey Thorne’s script.
Bottom Line: Blood Syndicate #1 is a very strong opening issue setting the tone of events to come while also smoothly inviting new readers into the Dakotaverse.
9 rejected Static Shock scripts out of 10