Rodney Barnes, writer
Jason Shawn Alexander, art
Luis NCT, colors
Marshall Dillon, Letters
In the previous issue we learned the backstory of one of the main characters, Toppy, who was tied to Deadwood Kansas. In his early life he was a slave and a soldier in the Confederate army. This issue was more direct about power differential, white privilege, and growing evil in American society. Also in this issue, Tevin gets a redemption arc and the Sangsters continue their pursuit of the vampire hoard.
The most heartfelt part of the story occurs when Tevin consults his grandmother before pursuing a bold initiative which involves going to the depths of hell to consult with an evil spirit. The exchange is important because it not only humanizes the character but also taps in to the matriarchal element of the community.
The art continues to be a high point of the story. The initial panels provide nice details of the background, the city landscape, and larger context. However, the muddy approach, textured and bold, provides a reinforcement of the bloody elements of this story.
The Sangsters work to defeat the vampire horde, serving as narrators of the human perspective and the impact the vampires have on the undead. Sangster Sr., who turned vampire early on, is the expert on the undead and also provides much needed humor. The doctor (who?) appears to be a third wheel but her presence alone provides fresh air to the dialogue in a weird way. She serves as a witness to the father-son dance, which feels redemptive and important.
The timely and meaningful quotes, observations, included in the monologue are always interesting and informative. In this issue, the highlight is the statement “Death moves in silence.” This captures the steady march of the vampire horde which is representative of the consequence of the evil beliefs that were woven into the very foundation of the American society, which highlight the value of working hard while ignoring the damaging effects of white privilege or power differential. The story is strangely hopeful, filled with peril, and prophetic in its observation of the evil in current society. Fans of horror and science fiction will love this issue. Overall = 9/10