Blood Tree #6 Review

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi

Artist: Maxim Šimić

Colorist: John Kalisz

Letterer: Rob Leigh

Cover Artists: Christian Alamy & Brad Anderson

Publisher: Image

Price: $4.99

Release Date: July 5, 2023

Hearing reports of toxic gas at Midtown Manhattan’s Knickerbocker Hotel, Dario Azzaro commandeers a motorcycle. Coughing survivors spill outside as he arrives. But what about his partner, Maria Diaz? Let’s climb into Blood Tree #6 and find out!

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Dario grabs a mask and heads upstairs. He finds her on the roof, lying in a pool of blood next to Owen Fincher’s gas canister. Dario calls for help, but his police radio’s dead. So he picks her up and carries her. He keeps telling her to conserve her strength, but she insists on having a final moment with him. Her death feels like something you never believe can happen until it does.

After the funeral, Dario heads back to Fincher’s apartment. He brings only a crowbar and a toolbox. He and Maria found a file hidden in the ceiling during their last visit to the apartment. If Fincher hid one file, perhaps the killer hid something else. Dario’s already sent his family away. He doesn’t seek out other cops in Blood Tree #6. When he eventually finds Fincher, the man claims Dario’s just like him. While this is something villains often tell heroes, Dario’s on a mission too. He won’t let anything in Heaven and Earth stop him until he takes the man down.


Dario’s tears mix with the falling rain. He stands with relatives and police surrounding the freshly dug grave. Later, he sits against the gravestone that he or Maria’s family has already erected, gazing at his cell phone and listening to a message from his wife and children. It’s hard to match this later view with the earlier one: it no longer looks like there’s room for many mourners. It’s also hard to match the tree painted on the wall of Fincher’s apartment in Blood Tree #6 with earlier images in issues #3 and 4. But that’s nitpicking. While graveside scenes communicate Dario’s loss, those in Fincher’s apartment show his determination. Dario’s final confrontation with the serial killer harkens back to the striking imagery in issue #2 that compelled me to review the series.

Rich coloring provides warmth and contrast, while walls and floors are textured. Highlights reveal light sources. Shadowing enhances Dario’s clothing and muscles when he rips off his shirt in Fincher’s apartment. The evening brings gray and a hint of purple to New York streets and buildings as Dario stakes out Fincher’s potential hideaway. Yellow and orange breathe life into dancing, organic-looking flames, while gunshot wounds and spraying blood look bright red.

Upper black letters inhabit white dialogue balloons in Blood Tree #6. While I’ve always liked the font, and the spacing between lines, the letter size always looked unnecessarily small. The font shrinks further during dramatic moments, such as on the hotel rooftop and outside Fincher’s hideout. Sound effects are easy-to-read and impressive. They provide poignancy when Dario kicks open a door and a satisfying sense of destruction as he searches for clues in the apartment. Gunshots pierce the air in his showdown with Fincher. As panels focus on Dario, yellow transparent BLAMMs announce Fincher’s gunshots, while solid red BLAMs accompany Dario’s gunfire.

Final Thoughts

As pain and loss strip Dario Azzaro bare, Blood Tree #6 reveals who he is and why he devotes his life to protecting the inhabitants of New York City.


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