Aftershock Comics has provided a fantastic environment for artist driven content that offer the potential for odd and ambitious stories. Aftershock’s new title Blood Blister is proof of that effort, as Eisner nominated Phil Hester and Eisner winner Tony Harris claim co-creator roles taking on writer and artist positions respectfully. Their tale is one of prideful arrogance, ignorance, and neglect all of which justify the main characters’ conviction for success.
Our journey begins with lawyer extraordinaire Brandon Hull aiming to convince an odd rural family to participate in a class action suit that will change their lives. However, what Mr. Hull experiences during that meeting may unwittingly begin to alter his path forever. Using his loyal minion and usurping the support of his only significant anchor to his son, he cheats his integrity as a Father to further the prominence of his own life. Brandon then begins to manifest his misgivings in the form of a horrific blister that harkens to the peculiar title of this fantastical story.
As both creators, have been independently involved in titles like Swamp Thing, The Crow: Waking Nightmares, The Wretch, Ex Machina, Nightbreed, and Nightmare on Elm Street, this duo promises to twist reality and offer a story that we may have only seen in titles like Hot Damn or Lock & Key. Harris’s art style is exceedingly complimented in this dark and sinister world, as he even manages to breathe life into various gutters of the pages to establish an eerie mood and tone. In the meantime, Phil Hester spares no time at all introducing us to our anti-hero and his short comings that potentially contribute to his impending judgment to come.
As the story progresses it becomes more obvious rather than jarring the directions the main character takes as I seemed to feel I heard this story before. Even our anti-hero’s name, Brandon Hull, insinuates that he is hypothetically a husk or a shell of a human being as the name Hull could imply. The arrogance and blind faith that Hester imbues on the main character is completely formulaic, which does not inspire you to feel any concern for what the main character is about to endure.
As the story comes to a close you are less surprised as Brandon becomes ensnared in the most predictable of all places, where he must begin to answer for his exploits and indiscretions. Although this story concludes with a predictable contrived ending that leaves you unsurprised, I would still give this title at least one more issue to surprise me. The fantastic visuals and the odd backwoods family you are quickly introduced to in the beginning inspire me to want to find out where Brandon may end up after his first cliff hanging situation. This title does offer some skin crawls and icky feelings, therefore as I wait for issue 2 I give this title 3 out of 5 stars.
(W) Phil Hester (A) Eric Layton (A/CA) Tony Harris
Publisher: Aftershock Comics