Out this week is the sequel to a series you might not be aware of but you should be: Loaded Bible: Blood of My Blood. It’s a series by Tim Seeley, Steve Orlando, and Giuseppe Cafaro about a future where the Catholic church rules with great might but has a bit of a thorn in its side after cloning Jesus. If that doesn’t sound bonkers enough, vampires roam the Earth and Jesus kills them but soon learns Dracula has joined the cloth.
And that’s honestly all you need to know in order to enjoy this story. This first issue opens on a group of Mad Max-looking cars encountering a ginormous tank many stories tall known simply as The Church. It’s a dystopian future where the church is not only on wheels but taking out non-believers with furious anger. Enter Jesus, who comes between the church and these non-believers to save their lives.
It’s a superhero comic story with a super-powered Jesus preaching the word, but now fully against the church and what they stand for. Easy to do when we learn early on vampires are now part of their flock and Dracula himself is the Red Pope. If these ideas pique your interest, believe me, there’s more to be had in this first issue alone.
This book has a fearlessness to take iconography and ideas we’re familiar with and throw them into a crazy end of world scenario future. Orlando and Seeley write a tight plot here as well with very little fat. As we learn more about Dracula, we get to know Jesus and what he stands for. He truly seems like the ultimate hero who wants to do good, but how can you do any good when a system as powerful as the church desires ultimate power and nothing else?
The unabashed story is balls-to-the-wall fun, which art does well to capture. Cafaro and color artist Josh Rodriguez supply good fight choreography, a truly frightening but different look for Dracula, and some rather cool environments. The home base of Jesus and Dracula get fully displayed and they look great. In general, environments are minimalist, but there are some details here and there to show the world has crumbled. There’s some interesting layout and framing, like a fight where the gutters form a cross as Jesus kicks ass, or in another scene where Dracula’s entire head covers one side and he looks evil as all heck.
Generally speaking, the level of detail in the art is lower than the norm, especially in superhero comics. It’s still good and tells the story effectively, but can look a bit unfinished at times.
Lettering by Fabio Amelia and Maurizio Clausi is solid throughout, with some great sound effects like a “SPLORATCH” when someone gets a bit late in the issue. There’s good emphasis on using red coloring in the text, with text nearly breaking the bounds of boxes here or there, too.
All that, and this issue comes with a foreword from the Boulet Brothers. Talk about crazy timing, with the opening sentence referencing “a time when the world seems closer than ever to the end of days,” and yet likely was written months ago. The foreword helps add context as far as what the book is going for with its approach as well as the Catholic church’s fascination with blood.
Loaded Bible: Blood of My Blood is a good example of creators taking big swings with crazy ideas, multiple in this case, and having it work. This is the kind of face-melting comic that deserves a heavy metal soundtrack, that’ll make you throw up the horns and go “Hell yeah” to yourself over and over. In a world where life doesn’t make sense, accept Loaded Bible in your heart as the one true escapist entertainment of 2022.
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