Writer: Erica Schultz & Van Jensen
Letterer: Cardinal Rae
Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Reviewer: JR Huitt
Bylines in Blood #1 arrived this week from AfterShock Comics. Created by Erica Schultz, Van Jensen, and Aneke, Bylines in Blood is a series set in a bleak future. Hopefully, there is enough mystery to hook the readers and keep them invested after Bylines in Blood #1!
Bylines in Blood #1 was a fantastic first issue. Schultz and Jensen hit the ground running without giving the main character (and the readers) any time to catch their breath. This issue introduces the main character Satya. She’s a former newspaper reporter who has moved into the private investigation field following a pandemic that upended everything inside THE CITY. I really liked how Satya’s life has been changed due to the pandemic. With the latest variant of Covid-19 running rampant through the world, I could easily see a parallel with how fragile life truly is.
With Bylines in Blood #1 taking place in the future, the art has to stand out. The world that Aneke has designed definitely looks like something from the future. But not everything that we see is bleached with the ‘new.’ The area where the murder took place is as dark as any future Noir I’ve ever read or watched.
Aneke’s character designs are another success that needs to be mentioned. By subtly adding lines under Satya’s eyes, she was able to show how exhausted the character was. It’s a great use of teamwork when the writing allows the art to carry the story.
Bylines in Blood #1 is a wonderful first issue. With the way that the series is setting up, I got serious flashbacks to Warren Ellis & Darrick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan. When a new series can be compared favorably to one of the more stand-out books of the turn of the century, there is a lot to look forward to. With any luck, the creative team has simply scratched the surface, and there is much more to come after Bylines in Blood #1.