When we first meet Detective Holloway in Issue #1, she and vamp-partner Atticus Black were at a dead end in their investigation of a string of vampire slayings in Asylum. When Black returns to the station with culprit in tow, Holloway feels the capture is just too neatly packaged. Her instinct leads her to a violent clash with Black, and a well-timed rescue by the mysterious ninja behind the slayings.
Issue #2 finds us in the fallout. With Atticus Black alive but gravely injured, Holloway missing, and vampire slayings still unsolved, the city state of Asylum is on lockdown. Black’s betrayal leads Holloway to an important discovery about Asylum: humanity’s history has been edited by the vampire population, and Holloway herself may play an important role in reclaiming it.
Writer Eliot Rahal uses fantastic parallels to tell a tale of two cities at war with themselves in this issue. On the surface we’re treated to a great pacing issue with critical backstory while furthering the plot. We also get Toro’s story mirrored in Holloway’s transformation and awakening, which mirrors Black’s transformation and awakening into a cybervamp.
Black’s motivations become personal and tangible, outside of his motivation as upholder of the vampire controlled status quo. I especially loved the layering of Toro’s speaking over Atticus’ awakening. Both of them are hybrids and soldiers in a war that spans centuries, both of them, in their own ways, are alone.
Colorist Miquel Muerto’s choice of blue flame for Atticus’ exposure to sunlight adds an interesting visual deviation from the traditional vampiric weakness. I loved the sense of otherworldly magic in the choice, which is emphasized in Toro’s backstory later on in the issue.
I adore Dike Ruan’s moody Asylum landscapes, with its hard edges but softly blurred neon interiors. In Issue 2, as Toro and Holloway traverse the city-state, Muerto’s perfectly captured atmospheric perspective visually cements the theme of overwhelming transformation. Andworld’s lettering offers bubble-bending expressions that frame, rather than distract, from each panel gracefully.
The layers of visual and narrative storytelling from this fantastic team give Bleed Them Dry readers more to chew on than just ninjas and cybervamps. Created by Hiroshi Koizumi, written by Eliot Rahal, with art by Dike Ruan, colors by Miquel Muerto, and letters by Andworld, you can savor this new issue on Comixology or at your local retailer.