Blood Syndicate: Season One #1 is written by Geoffery Thorne, penciled by ChrisCross, inked by Juan Castro, and colored by Wil Quintana. It’s published by DC Comics. Soldiers Rolando Texador and Hannibal White have returned from a tour of duty in the Persian Gulf— and the experience changed them in more ways than one. While Rolando and Hannibal attempt to reconnect with their friends and family in Dakota City, crime has spiraled out of control following the rise of metahumans. And one metahuman, Holocaust, is determined to expand his territory, but Rolando and Hannibal have other ideas.
In the pantheon of Milestone heroes, the Blood Syndicate has been one of the most underrated groups. While characters like Static and Rocket have enjoyed mainstream success thanks to animation, the Syndicate hasn’t been as lucky. Given the relaunch of the Milestone Universe and how it feels more relevant now than ever, now is the perfect time to give the Syndicate the limelight. And thankfully, a writer like Thorne is up to the job. Thorne’s run on Green Lantern helped place fan-favorite Lantern John Stewart into the limelight, and he looks to do the same for the Syndicate.
Part of Thorne’s approach comes from his character work. Rolando and Hannibal were entirely changed by their experiences in the Gulf, especially Hannibal, who is now a devout Muslim. While Rolando is happy to see their mutual friend Carlos, Hannibal gives them the cold shoulder. And when more details spill out about their time in the Gulf, readers will understand why Hannibal acts the way he does. Thorne’s script also takes a more grounded approach, as most of the conflict is focused on a gang war; considering Static is coming-of-age, and Rocket & Icon is more sci-fi, this only helps the universe feel more diverse in terms of genre.
Though this comic is meant to be an updated version of the Syndicate, it also features the return of one of the original series’ artists ChrisCross. Having previously provided artwork for Static: Season One, ChrisCross continues to deliver some dynamic artwork — which is only enhanced by Castro’s thick inks. An action scene with Rocket has explosive results, as a car full of robbers learns the hard way about her inertia-manipulating powers. The characters also vary in size; Holocaust, in particular, towers over everyone, which makes for a scary sight when he uses his pyrokinesis. And topping it all off is Quintana’s colors, which add to the diversity of character in terms of powers and, most importantly, skin tone. The Hispanic characters in the comic actually look brown, while the Black characters have varying skin shades. And Rocket’s powers are a vibrant, eye-catching purple while Holocaust’s reddish-orange flames take on a life of their own.
Blood Syndicate: Season One #1 gives one of the Milestone Universe’s fan-favorite teams a fresh start, courtesy of a talented creative team. If you’re looking to get into the Milestone Universe or learn more about its non-Static character, this is the series for you. I can’t wait to see how the creative team works with the other members of the Syndicate.
Blood Syndicate: Season One #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Blood Syndicate: Season One #1
Blood Syndicate: Season One #1 gives one of the Milestone Universe’s fan-favorite teams a fresh start, courtesy of a talented creative team. If you’re looking to get into the Milestone Universe or learn more about its non-Static character, this is the series for you. I can’t wait to see how the creative team works with the other members of the Syndicate
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.