“With the Vampire Wars burning hotter and bloodier with each new day”, Jonathan Maberry’s narrative for “Blood And Beats” engagingly shifts from predominantly focusing upon Presidential advisor Luther Swann and instead literally turns the camera upon reporter Yuki Nitobe in an attempt to identify just when she sold her soul so as to give her “the biggest ratings”.
This harrowing self-reflection, initiated by the young Asian woman being “abducted and brought into the vampire underground”, is initially absolutely laced with menace and the implied threat of her being bloodily butchered if she fails to report “the whole truth.” However, such intimidation is soon withdrawn over a cup of tea with the polite, seemingly well-mannered Martyn, and the righteously indignant journalist quickly learns from Kyra Hanson, a Malaysian Jenglot, that the Bloods are being callously beaten, tortured and mutilated by the unaffected simply because “people are afraid of us, and they hate that they’re afraid.” A damning enough testimony which the bruised, broken and (cigarette) burnt daughter of an American Missionary makes all the more compelling when she reveals she won’t kill her attackers because as a Quaker “we don’t believe in any kind of violence.”
Fortunately for those readers within this comic’s 6,912 strong circulation who like their book’s more action-orientated, the Philadelphia-born suspense author also still manages to inject plenty of pulse-pounding proceedings into this twenty-page periodical’s plot, by depicting Yuki and Martyn witnessing a building of homeless, unarmed vampires being mercilessly gunned down by the Authorities under the pretence that the shabby, sharp-toothed vagrants are a dangerous terrorist cell; “These blood-Nazis hide among us. They want us to believe they’re helpless victims. Boo-Hoo.” This hard-hearted scene isn’t included just for the sake of pleasing part of the title’s demographic either, and sadly leads to Kyra being blown apart by a bomb just outside her home in retaliation for Nitobe’s newscast on the murderous Homeland Security raid.
Impressively, all of this character development, heart-searching and explosive shenanigans are wonderfully drawn by Alan Robinson, who really manages to imbue this publication’s cast with some highly emotionally-charged features. In fact, a lot of the story-telling inside Issue Two of “V-Wars” is very successfully told by the looks the Chilean artist bestows upon their animated faces and within their hauntingly realistic eyes.