Blood Syndicate: Season One #4 turns a corner as Geoffrey Thorne, ChrisCross, and Sean Damien Hill expand the roster even further. The series has teased an explosion in this war on Paris Island, and thankfully, this issue gives readers that BOOM as series villain Holocaust turns up the heat.
Blood Syndicate: Season One #4 begins in flashback, as writer Geoffrey Thorne shows readers a conflict between Hannibal and Carlos, giving more depth to the tension that the characters have had throughout the series. These tensions arise even as Rolando, Carlos, and Maria rescue Hannibal from both the police and Holocaust. The action here is intense and ChrisCross does a great job showing the characters through their actions in a chaotic fight. In particular, Rolando and Holocaust are the highlights of this opening action. Wil Quintana’s colors help with the mood, especially once Holocaust begins showing off just what he’s capable of.
Sean Damien Hill serves as artist for the second half of the book, which sees Rolly and the rest of the team assemble in a hideout. Here, a few more members of the crew are introduced, and the tensions between the former gangs of Paris Island rise up as various cast members fight among themselves. Hill’s style uses more hatching in the shading than ChrisCross, something that works well with the dingy setting and environment the gang finds themselves in. While Wil Quintana’s color art really helps form the shadows in ChrisCross’s work, Quintana’s colors are a little less shapely as inker Juan Castro brings out the lines of Hill’s work, playing with that style change rather than against it. This does mean that both halves of the issue look distinct from one another, but neither half feels like it’s approximating the other.
Where Blood Syndicate: Season One #4 really succeeds though is bringing home the idea that Paris Island is a war zone. The beginning of this series focused on Rolando and Hannibal returning from a chaotic war only to be dropped back into the same old battles of street life. In this issue, Thorne, ChrisCross, and Hill make that battle more literal in a way that hadn’t been truly seen.
Additionally, both because the events are seen through Rolando’s eyes and because the issue has an on-the-run feel, the addition of new cast members feels more organic than it did in the previous issue, allowing the cast to expand yet again. Thorne also weaves in some world-building through newcomer Marta, with some Easter eggs for longtime Blood Syndicate fans.
In short, Blood Syndicate: Season One #4 is the strongest issue in the series thus far. Writer Geoffrey Thorne, and artists ChrisCross and Sean Damien Hill build off previous issues while adding new dimensions, setting this first season up for what will hopefully be an exhilarating conclusion in its final two issues.
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