REVIEW: ‘Blood On Sunset,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Blood on Sunset #1 - But Why Tho

Blood on Sunset #1 is written by Mark D’Anna and illustrated by Arjuna Susini. It is published by Source Point Press. In June 1947, former police officer Clint Braddock is drawn to the murder of crime lord Bugsy Siegel, who has been savagely ripped apart. Braddock suspects the involvement of a vampiric race of creatures known as Eaters, but a pair of complications rear their head. One: Braddock’s ex-girlfriend Beverly was at the scene of the crime. Two: Braddock is a half-Eater himself, and someone knows the secret he’s kept for years.

The concept of using an alternate take on historical events has fueled other comic series such as Machine Gun Wizards and Nuclear PowerBlood on Sunset takes a similar approach by doing a 1940s noir laced with supernatural undertones and vampires. Unfortunately, D’Anna’s script doesn’t explore this until later in the issue. In fact, Eaters don’t appear until the last page. In the case of Machine Gun Wizards and Nuclear Power, the general concept was revealed early in the issue, which immediately hooked readers. Here, fans reading the issue will more than likely have to wait for the next issue for the concept of “vampires in the Mafia” to be fully explored.

That being said, D’Anna perfectly captures the dialogue and narration that fueled classic crime/noir films such as Casablanca and The Untouchables. Braddock often narrates his actions, with the lettering for his narrative captions taking a shift based on certain elements. When he analyzes a crime scene, the narrations take the shape of scraps of paper as if he’s scribbling in a notepad. When he’s doing his standard narration, however, the captions are yellowed and packed full of trademark noir speak such as describing Los Angeles as a city of “the dying and the dead.” Beverly herself seems to fit into the stereotypical femme fatale trope since she was the only person to see Buggsy before his death.

What really helps sell the noir elements is Susini’s art. It has a rough, sketchy look to it that makes the comic feel like it was drawn on 35 mm film. Characters are shown sitting in darkness and Braddock is rarely seen without a cigar in his mouth, trails of smoke curling around his face. She doesn’t skimp on the blood either; the scene of Buggsy’s death features entrails and gore splattered all across the page, even sinking into Beverly’s bright pink dress. And if you think that’s gory, just wait until the last page. The coloring for the issue takes a more muted form, adding to the horror element of the title; the only difference is Beverly, whose pale skin and fiery red hair are a standout through the issue.

Blood on Sunset #1 takes time to set up the supernatural elements of its story, though the art and dialogue are extremely reminiscent of a noir film. Hopefully, the next issue delves deeper into the supernatural elements while continuing to flesh out its mystery.

Blood on Sunset #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on December 29, 2021.


Blood on Sunset #1
3.5

TL;DR

Blood on Sunset #1 takes time to set up the supernatural elements of its story, though the art and dialogue are extremely reminiscent of a noir film. Hopefully, the next issue delves deeper into the supernatural elements while continuing to flesh out its mystery.