Let's face it. Comics in recent weeks have been somber in tone. Everything in the comics’ world right now is dealing with high drama, high suspense, or just plain old high action. The comedy has seemed to disappear. Heck, even Deadpool, which had been rolling up laughs during the first fourteen issues of its new volume, all of sudden even it has gotten serious. What's up with that? One of the few exceptions in recent months however has been Dark Horse Comics' offering of a mini-series called Blood Brothers. Blood Brothers has been following the lives or unlives of Nick and Tree, two thousand-year old vampires who despite their age, look like they came out of on old seventies TV show. They have seen it all and done it all (to include running with Genghis Khan and orgying with Michelangelo). They should be rolling in the good life, but some bad business decisions (such as passing on purchasing some Monet paintings, investing in zeppelins as the travel of the future, etc.) have them trolling around in Vegas working for a bail bonds company. Little do the guys know, things are about to get interesting as a vampire named Ian is preparing for a grand plan of good old-fashioned world domination and Nick holds the key. Add to it a nice little subplot of Nick falling in love and wanting to become human and you got the first two issues in a nutshell.
Issue three marks the conclusion as everything comes to a head in spectacular fashion. Will Nick become human? Will Tree and Nick's relationship survive if he becomes human? Will Ian succeed in his plan turning a mega casino tycoon with Cancer into the next great vampire who can control all other vampires to do his will? Will that damned "Barcelona" plan ever work the way it should (read the book)?
If all of this sounds like a lot, it is because it is; way too much to squeeze into a three issue story arc. It should definitely have been at least a five issue arc. Because of the tight window, lots of things get sacrificed... character development... back story... the actual ending itself... everything feels like it is rushed. Probably because it is. The conclusion issue does provide answers to all the above questions, but it moves by waaaay too fast, making you wanting to say "that's it?" when you turn the last page. This truly is a pity because the banter between Nick and Tree is wonderfully funny. These are two guys you would want to party (or for that matter, orgy) with. They are happening, but no one else is. The rest of the folks are nothing more than cardboard cutouts fitting into a very tight space.
I have nothing bad to say about Evan Shaner's artwork. It is fresh and peppy and made for a visually pleasing story. Nick and Tree look like what they should and it was a nice change of pace to see vampires drawn to look like regular guys as opposed to the typical pasty faces that you normally associate with the genre. I give high marks here.
I am still left wishing what if? Issue three is the worst of the entire series, but I still recommend it for the strength of all three issues together. You will get a laugh from it which was a nice change of pace from the "moodiness" of other titles lately. And maybe, if enough people pick it up, there might be a chance that Nick and Tree can get a proper story arc that is more "fleshed out" (terrible pun there) in the future. I for one sincerely hope so.
Writers: Mike Gagerman, Andrew Waller (with story by Etan Cohen) Artist: Evan Shaner Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/30/13