Bleed Them Dry is a new and very promising new series from Vault Comics. The first issue introduced us to a techno-futuristic world where vampires and humans coexist. It was a good first issue, but it left me wanting. Issue #2 solves that problem with an excellent issue that reveals more about the larger world, how vampires fit into it while also building towards a major confrontation.
I was quite impressed with the plotting and pace of this issue. Created by Hiroshi Koizumi and written by Eliot Rahal with art by Dike Ruan, the issue flows nicely cutting between the villain who had most of his body blown apart and the protagonist who is coming to grips with the fact that she’s turning into a vampire. The crosscutting helps add tension to each scene as well as allow adequate exposition evenly spaced out in the book. So often, especially in comics, an entire issue will be devoted to setting up the story, but here there’s a good balance of key exposition, character work, and plot progression.
There’s a clever page turn where the mayor is asking for information so as to calm the public while they oversee a key character to get surgery. At the same time as this scene, our protagonist is recovering from her wounds and trying to make sense of her newfound vampirism. Before we hit the page turn, the character responds to the mayor with, “We’re still recovering.” It’s a great beat before we check back in with the protagonist as it’s a valid truth for all of the main characters and the city itself too.
I’m also loving the larger world being unveiled here. I’m a fan of alternate takes on vampires like Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain, and this work is another shining example of solid vampire reimagining. I wasn’t expecting it either, as the first issue slowly unveils minor details about vampires, but this issue digs right in. The series continues to add little details woven into the story too, further declaring this as a real world.
The art by Ruan and colors by Miquel Muerto continue to impress. The cityscapes are particularly beautiful and there’s a great double page layout that shows off the futuristic city quite well. Often you’ll see a cityscape that looks familiar or similar to another sci-fi world, but here, most everything looks quite unique. The art has a cinematic quality to it throughout too, be it framing of characters, or attention to key closeups in a scene.
I liked the first issue of Bleed Them Dry, but now I’m all in with a cherry on top for this series. Bleed Them Dry is an expertly plotted comic book story that drives your interest in its characters, the world, and vampires to new heights.