Dead Body Road: Bad Blood

Dead Body Road: Bad Blood
Dead Body Road Bad Blood review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Image Comics - 978-1-53431-721-5
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2021
  • UPC: 9781534317215
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

Bad Blood is a surprise second outing under the Dead Body Road title, for which Justin Jordan switches in a new cast and different tone removing it from the frenetic first outing. It’s another crime story with a high body count, and like the first Bad Blood, things have spiralled well out of control. However, this time the central figure is someone far more certain of what they’re doing.

Bree Hale now runs a rural bar, but was a dangerous woman many years before in another life that her brother hasn’t left behind. Hunter Hale is neither as smart or resourceful, he’s in way over his head, and there are some dangerous people looking for him as he’s run away with the girlfriend of the Monk, the most dangerous of them all.

The first story was defined by the skill of Matteo Scalera, who’s not back for Bad Blood. Instead it’s Benjamin Tiesma on board, very talented but not quite the full artist. He’s great with the storytelling and really good at defining the locations by the scenery, but the people can be stiff and there’s the occasional really odd expression. The effort put in, though, well outweighs any criticism.

As before, Jordan rolls out his story to a template of the loner wanting a quiet life and pushed too far. Hints are dropped as to Bree’s past, but the specifics are never revealed as they’re not necessary. Her resourcefulness tells its own story, and that plays out all the way through. She’s surrounded with an effective and easily understood supporting cast. Surprisingly, the standout among them isn’t the by the numbers Sheriff who loves Bree, nor villain Monk losing control for the first time in his career, but his second in command who now has the clearer vision. A couple of chapter ending cliffhangers lack the poise of the remainder, being too easily resolved, but otherwise this is another rich crime story well worth your while.