Heartbeat #3 is published by BOOM! Studios. It comes from the creative team of writer and artist Maria Llovet with letters from AndWorld Design. In the second issue, Eva began to lose herself in the revelation that she witnessed a murder. However, it is in Heartbeat #3 where she embraces the will of the murderer, Donatien. After waking from her dreamlike encounter with him, Eva heads to school. She meets Mack who is still processing the death of his sister. Eva keeps her distance, even as Mack promises to prove that Donatien is her murderer.
Meanwhile, at school, Donatien finds Eva in the library and seduces her. The two agree to meet at his house later that day. As day turns to night Eva once again finds herself in Donatien’s clutches. But there are other players in this game and the pair’s actions could result in dire consequences.
With issue three of Heartbeat, it seems like the full breadth of the story is finally laid bare. There are certainly some loose ends and revelations that are clearly being saved for later. But overall, it is clear that the story has truly hit its stride. Sadly, this stride is not quite in the direction that I had hoped it would be. There is the groundwork for a Knives Out-esque critique of class warfare hidden in this story. Rather than building upon that, however, Llovet went in the direction of the classic “Vampiric seduction” story. There’s nothing wrong with this angle, and she tells it well enough that the central story is still compelling. But seeing the untapped potential for something else is a bit disappointing.
Llovet’s art remains intriguing, if not a little overindulgent. There are frequent scenes of escalating sensuality and all are portrayed beautifully. There are flow and artistry in their depiction, which makes them the standout panels in the story. Besides that, the art is very nice but feels somewhat lifeless. It feels like a collection of paper dolls all arranged to tell this macabre, seductive story. Eva only really seems active and alive on pages she shares with Donatien. That being said, AndWorld’s lettering is very interestingly done. While very minimalist in its usage, the understated sound effects as parts of the background are cleverly done.
With Heartbeat #3 I have to say I am a little disappointed after the series’ brilliant start. There is certainly room for the story to take some interesting twists and turns, and for that I am hopeful. However, it seems as though the greater interest has been placed on telling another vampire story without much to say otherwise. I still look forward to seeing where the story goes, but the ghost of a more interesting narrative is too present to ignore.
Heartbeat #3 is available wherever comics are sold.
…I have to say I am a little disappointed after the series’ brilliant start. There is certainly room for the story to take some interesting twists and turns, and for that I am hopeful.