REVIEW: ‘Manor Black: Fire in the Blood,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Manor Black: Fire In The Blood

Manor Black: Fire in the Blood #1 is published by Dark Horse Comics, written by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, art by Brian Hurtt, colors by Tyler Crook, and letters by Tyler Crook. As Roman Black trains Ari in the use of fire magic, his children watch disapprovingly. They wonder why he spends so much time with an outsider. Especially when they believe time is so short. For events of the past may repeat themselves and Roman only has so much time left.

This opening installment in the newest entry to the Manor Black series takes its time setting up the story it is beginning. With several different locations, individuals, and plot threads appearing in this book, the story takes a measured approach to its storytelling. Doing so allows it to start all of these different threads while still building up the low-key horror atmosphere the book imbues its pages with.

If Manor Black: Fire in the Blood #1 is your first visit to the gothic horror series you might want to pick up its predecessor before reading. No significant character explanation or recap of the previous series is given here, which will leave new readers in the lurch. And with so many different elements being followed in this book, there is plenty to get confused about.

Along with the setup for the book’s current day story, there is a significant amount of this book that takes place in the distant past. We see a young Roman returning from World War II to a home that is seeing some disquiet. His father hasn’t been himself lately, and his sisters have concerns with how he will welcome his returning son. It’s strongly implied that what his father is going through in the past has some connection with what awaits Roman in the present. This past and present mirroring feels like a great fit for the slow-burn horror story that Manor Black: Fire in the Blood #1 sets up.

The art throughout this book further supplements the excellent tone and energy of the story. The line art does a solid job of creating the feeling of a classic horror movie by presenting the cast through both its design and its angling of the reader’s point of view.

The color work gives the visual side of this story a further classical look thanks to the painted look it imparts to the book. The shading throughout the colors helps the entire story feel like an antique. This is especially true for the past sequences, which are done almost completely in black and white.

Rounding out the book’s visual presentation is the lettering. The lettering here keeps things simple and clean, which compliments the rest of the book’s design wonderfully.

When all is said and done, Manor Black: Fire in the Blood #1 starts its story off on a slow but measured entry that looks to build the setting atmosphere before diving too headlong into the story. What the series makes of this beginning, only time can tell.

Manor Black: Fire in the Blood #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Manor Black: Fire in the Blood #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Manor Black: Fire in the Blood #1 starts its story off on a slow but measured entry that looks to build the setting atmosphere before diving too headlong into the story. What the series makes of this beginning, only time can tell.