Southern horror, Southern terror, Southern crime, if it’s in the South then comics want to place their setting and subgenre there. I don’t know why, but the South is hot right now. I’m not from the South so I have zero interest. I am from a small country town though so I can relate to the stories I just rarely find them interesting. Blood Feud is a Southern terror story from Cullen Bunn and published by Oni Press. Usually these two things together are pretty damn good. The Damned, The Sixth Gun and Hellbreak all being strong examples of Cullen Bunn, supernatural/horror elements and success. I would not place Blood Feud on that list just yet.
Have you seen Tremors? Have you seen it recently? It doesn’t hold up over time that’s for damn sure. Blood Feud gave me a Tremors vibe. The story starts off in a small town with two friends driving to town and being stopped by a university student that’s studying the migration of spiders. We see a flood of big ass spiders just crawling like a herd of sheep and yet no one brings out a flame torch and kills them all because this apparently happens once a year… fucking gross.
We keep following our main character and he narrates us to death about the town and two families that have a… blood feud. Clearly our main dude has a bias against one of the families and sets the stage for them being involved in witchcraft and such. Eventually the catalyst of the story kicks off and our main dude runs into the beautiful University student and finds out that the blood feud has been kicked up a notch and one of the families may have been completely wiped out.
It takes a long time to get to anything interesting and I don’t know if it was really that interesting. There’s so many familiar movie tropes and influences happening in the story that nothing is really a surprise when you get to it. I’m not going to say the other movie that’s influenced as well because it would just give it away to easily, but you’ll likely see it for yourself.
Bunn’s main character has no personality and I think that’s intentional. The problem being he’s a dull character to follow for an entire issue. He forces him to narrate everything to the reader and you’re left wondering why he’s telling us everything. A good narration should allude to the narrator surviving the story and telling the audience about the tale… I’m not sure what this narration implies other than the fact that that the narrator knows he’s narrating. It’s very distracting to say the least.
The art is good, but then Cullen Bunn usually works with really talented artists when he’s at Oni Press. The world has a convincing structure and the town feels as if it’s populated with real people and has been standing for a long time. The character designs are realistic and again fit the world. Unfortunately, there’s not much else to say about the art because of the pacing of the story. The spiders are creepy and that’s about all that happens without giving away a spoiler.
There could be something interesting about this story in the future. This first issue focuses too heavily on setting up the world and hinting at the conflict instead of finding something truly interesting to hook us outside of the story influences. Also, usually when a series finds a way to use its title within the story I give it bonus points, but here it was overkill. They say “blood feud” too many times for it to be a cool treat. If you’re into Bunn’s horror/terror stories then you may enjoy this, but I found it to be one of his weaker stories.
Blood Feud #1 Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Drew Moss with Nick Filardi Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/7/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital