Advance Review: Too Much Blood-Sucking Exposition In ‘Blood on Sunset’ #2

by Tom Smithyman


The second installment of Blood on Sunset takes us back to a vampire-infested LA. Is it worth taking a walk down Sunset Boulevard?


After introducing readers to vampire-infested 1940s Los Angeles in a strong first issue of Blood on Sunset, the second installment slows down to give some needed background on the would-be hero. Former cop-turned-gumshoe Clint Braddock gets pulled further into the mystery of gangster Bugsy Siegel’s murder – apparently at the hands (or teeth) of a vampire.

Like The Walking Dead, though, this world apparently uses a different term for its terrifying antagonists – preferring to refer to its blood-suckers as Eaters. To make matters more interesting, Braddock is one of them.

This story is bookended by Braddock’s backstory. After looking into a simple breaking-and-entering case, police detective Braddock shoots robber Tommy Geiger, but not before Geiger can get off two rounds into Braddock’s chest. The cop wakes up later to find himself somehow alive while his suspect has been ripped apart. Was it Braddock or other supernatural forces? Tommy seems to blame Braddock as his ghost haunts the detective throughout the tale.

Part horror, part noir, part police procedural, writer Mark D’Anna impresses in his freshman outing. D’Anna manages to avoid having his characters sound like they were ripped out of a Raymond Chandler novel, while still giving the reader some intentionally cheesy dialogue to chew on. Arjuna Susini’s art perfectly captures the feel of post-war LA, while colorist Vittorio Astone nails a subdued color palette that toes the line between the glitz and glamor of Hollywood and the black-and-white hues of film noir. Astone also paints appropriately subdued crime scenes that would literally be a bloodbath in the hands of a less-gifted colorist.

While the first issue sets up a compelling story, this installment is heavy on exposition as we learn more about the intersecting worlds of the mob, the police and the Eaters. The middle of the story suffers a bit from these explanations, as we’re told a long tale of an inmate who immolates in the prison yard.

There are plenty of interesting questions for D’Anna and team to answer to keep readers coming back for more: Is someone trying to expose Braddock as an Eater? Why is the detective’s knife at Siegel’s murder scene? Is Tommy just a figment of Braddock’s imagination or is there more to it than meets the eye?

Hopefully the action and intrigue will pick up in future issues so readers can learn the answers. Blood on Sunset #2 will be available for purchase on January 26, 2022.




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