• Blood Brothers: Hermanos De Sangre #1

    Blood Brothers: Hermanos De Sangre #1
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: June 28th, 2017.
    Written by: Fabian Rangel Jr.
    Illustrated by: Javier Caba
    Purchase From Amazon

    At Sid’s pub, a guy named Diego, sporting some nasty scratch marks on his face, is throwing back shots like they’re going out of style. The bartender asks him if it was a rough day but he tells him no, ‘same old, same old.’ We see things from Diego’s point of view and notice that the other patrons in the bar are goblins, monsters, fairies and the like. Supernatural beings. The bartender himself? A cyclops with a horn in the middle of his head.

    The bartender keeps serving him but tells him he’ll be cut off soon. Just then, a monster comes up to Diego, asks him his name, and then accuses him of being the man who put his cousin in the hospital last week. Just as Diego’s about to get his ass kicked a man in a luchadore costume shows up and puts a stop to it. This man is Gabriel, and he’s Diego’s brother. Shortly after his arrival, Gabriel gets a phone call – get Diego sober and get to headquarters as soon as possible. They leave the bar, Diego pretty plastered, and on the way out that monster, now accompanied by a few of his friends, decides to attack the two of them. Diego flashes a badge but it does no good, a fight breaks out. Diego’s nose gets bloodied by Gabriel, well, he’s good in a fight.

    Cut to ‘the past’ where Diego and a guy named George are serving their country in the trenches. A strange object, not quite a bomb or missile or grenade, lands in their trench. George is killed but Diego sees his spirit asking him if he’s okay.

    Back to the present, police headquarters. The two brothers have arrived and the captain promptly scolds them for taking too long to arrive. There’s been a break-in, a theft and a murder at the local museum and she wants them to get down there right away to check out the scene. The only thing that was stolen? A cursed skull. They arrive at the museum to meet Iliana Santos who was the first museum employee on the scene. Diego sees strange footprints that the others do not, while Iliana tells them the story of the skull, how it belonged to an Aztec priest, who the priest cursed it before he died and how it was found years later by archeologist Samuel Moody who, along with the rest of his team, died under very unusual circumstances. She shows them a photo of all who were involved and have passed – Diego recognizes one of them as Ramon Soliz, their father.

    Diego leaves, following the footprints that only he can see. Gabriel follows, talking about their father, about the possibility of the curse being real, following those footprints to a strange night club…

    What a really fun first issue. A drunk detective with a knack for seeing the supernatural where others cannot and a Mexican wrestler trying to solve the mystery of a cursed Aztec skull and a world populated by monsters of all kinds? What’s not to love. Fabian Rangel Jr.’s story is ripe with action and humor. It’s never scary even if it deals in horror movie tropes, but it is a complete blast. The relationship that’s developing between the two very different brothers is pretty amusing, their banter enjoyably snarky in the way that close relatives can be towards one another when working with each other. The setup for the mystery is pretty great too – is the curse real or not? If not, who would want to steal an old skull?

    Javier Caba’s artwork is pretty great. He’s got his own very distinct style, nothing else on the racks these days looks like this, it’s almost a cross between what Matt Kindt has been doing in Dept. H. and Francesco Francavilla’s style if you can imagine that, but it never apes anyone, it’s very unique. He uses a thicker line than normal but it works, it’s never at the cost of detail, and that heavy inking gives the book its own sort of strange, dark tone that works well in the context of the story being told.

    This first issue was a real kick – bring on the next one!