TAINTED LOVE, the
second TRUE BLOOD mini-series from IDW Publishing, is about a batch
of Tru-Blood gone bad. With the same high levels of violence,
romance, humor, and heart as the show, this six issue series focuses
on Jessica, who has gone feral after drinking the spiked beverage.
While Bill, joined by Hoyt, Jason, and Sam, tries to keep his
progeny from killing humans, Eric and Sookie set out to find the
culprit behind the bad batch.
Though the dialogue
is spotty in areas, writers Marc Andreyko (co-writer of CAPTAIN
AMERICA & BUCKY) and Michael McMillian (interestingly, the actor who
played Steve Newlin in the second season of TRUE BLOOD) do a good
job telling this Jessica-centric tale. There are plenty of badass
moments that you could only do in comics (Jess tears a gator in
half), but hardcore fans of the TV show will not be disappointed. If
you dig the romantic tension between Sookie and… well, every male in
the show, you’ll find a lot to love in this comic. Fan of the
flashbacks? Those are here as well. While you won’t see Viking Eric
kicking ass or Bill killing flappers with Lorena, each issue gives
readers a heartbreaking glimpse into Jessica’s past, leading up to
moment that she was turned. While this comic never really falters,
the area in which it soars is the interation between the supporting
characters. Every character in the TRUE BLOOD universe has so much
life, and the Andreyko/McMillian team uses small moments between
these characters to ground their story.
The art is mostly
good. Joe Corroney splits penciling duties with Stephen Molnar for
the latter half of the series, which is strange as their styles are
quite different. Corroney’s art is very obviously photo referenced,
while Molnar’s is more fluid. Both artists are solid on their own,
but they both bring very different tones to the series. The covers,
however, are downright beautiful. IDW brings on artists like J.
Scott Campbell (DANGER GIRL) and Harvey Award nominee Jenny Frison
(ANGEL, HACK/SLASH) on for cover duties, and the results are
Fans of the show
will find much to love here. Like ALL TOGETHER NOW, the first TRUE
BLOOD miniseries, TAINTED LOVE stays true to the spirit of the show,
adding to the mythos that creator Alan Ball has established. All six
issues are currently available in comic shops, with the hardcover
collection coming out in late September.