Review: Blood Queen #1

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Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
created 06/11/2014 - 7:59pm, updated 06/11/2014 - 8:02pm
Troy Brownfield,
Fritz Casas,
Mark Roberts and Kirsty Swan,
Marshall Dillon,
Jay Anacleto and Ivan Nunes,
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: 
June 11, 2014

Writer Troy Brownfield is determined for readers of the new Blood Queen #1 to know this is not your little sis’ Disney Princess Book. This is a horror magazine and the opening scene, the death of a character by one of the most terrifying methods possible, brings that fact home in grand style.

Brownfield is not fooling around here!

This fictionalized account of Elizabeth Bathory’s life is off to a strong start as Dynamite roles the dice on a rather unusual kind of period piece. The stakes are high, there is a realm at risk from dark mysticism and the sense of urgency can be cut with a knife … and sometimes is.

Aside from a horror story of great effect, Brownfield’s Blood Queen is also one damn fine detective story/mystery, as many of the scribe’s past works have been. With clues, shifting facts and red herrings for the readers abundant, this #1 is also a rather fun book to experience.

Woe be us for not being able to make this a better book on the visual end, because artist Fritz Casas’ work just does not keep pace with Brownfield’s horrific plot nor does his visuals match the rather bloody and visceral occurrences of the tale.

I find myself wanting to “get used to” Casas’ work, like one used to do with greats like Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Sal Buscema and even JRJr., whose works are not in everybody’s wheelhouse but who are great storytellers. Unfortunately, that is not present here. Pity.

Readers will love Blood Queen for its mystery and suspense, but those looking for cinematic realism or even flowing panel layout had best look elsewhere.