Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Blood Brothers: Hermanos De Sangre' #1 by Fabian Rangel, Jr. and Javier Caba

The spirit of indie comics is alive and well at Dynamite Entertainment. 'Blood Brothers: Hermanos De Sangre' #1 by Fabain Rangel, Jr., and Javier Caba a free-wheeling fantasy series with a lot of charm and mystery.


BLOOD BROTHERS: HERMANOS DE SANGRE #1 
    
Creators: Fabian Rangel, Jr. & Javier Caba
Writer: Fabian Rangel, Jr.
Artist: Javier Caba
Letterer: Ryan Ferrier
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 28, 2017

★★★★☆ (4/5)

Diego and Gabriel Soliz are brothers with a particular set of skills. They're not your typical detectives but then again, there's nothing typical about their world. Diego likes a drink or two with a side order of mayhem. The clean-cut and slim Soliz brother is a magnet for trouble because his aggressive style has given him a less than great reputation. Gabe, by comparison, is the level-headed gentle giant who dresses as a luchador and has the skills to prove it. It comes in handy when Diego's mouth gets him in trouble. Oh, Diego acquired the ability to speak to spirits of dead people and Gabe has some sort of "Spidey sense" that makes him glow. That's not even the strangest part. 

Rangel's world-building in this strange new world is dense but fast-paced. There are several mentions of "The Break" that we can assume alludes to how the city became populated by creatures from mythology and fantasy. It's perfectly normal to have a drink in a bar surrounded by patrons that happen to be cyclops, ghouls, vampires, werewolves, etc. It's a new reality and the Soliz brothers are more than up for it. An Aztec skull is stolen from a museum and the investigation reveals it's tied to a member of the Soliz family. 'Blood Brothers' becomes a mysterious police procedural in a quirky new setting full of colorful characters with a light-hearted pulp crime noir approach. 

I couldn't help think of another indie comic from 1990, Men in Black. The comic that was adapted into a blockbuster movie franchise starring Will Smith had a similar vibe. The agents like the detectives in this story seem perfectly at ease among the aliens around them working leads, interviewing suspects, like any other crime story except in a fantastical setting. The humor was also tongue-in-cheek and breezy. The dialogue reveals a caring supportive relationship between the brothers. The chemistry works and makes them more engaging as a result. The action and intrigue escalate as the story continues leading to a big confrontation.  Rangel doesn't give away too much information. In fact, you may end up with more questions than answers as I did by the cliffhanger ending. It's still a fun ride that feels what an indie comic should - fresh and experimental. 

Caba lays out a compelling story and really concentrates on unique fun character designs. How often does an artist get to draw a werewolf or a cyclops? Backgrounds are sometimes sparse but the stars are Diego and Gabriel so they are front and center most of the time. The pacing is quick without being rushed as one scene leads to another with deliberate and thoughtful transitions. The "Mos Eisley Cantina" scene is worth devoting some time to scan the page for Caba's creative designs. Overall, Caba delivers energetic fast-paced illustrations that are sometimes raw but bright and colorful. 

'Blood Brothers: Hermanos De Sangre' manages to blend in Spanish phrases and words seamlessly making the interaction between brothers natural and realistic. Rangel and Caba are solid pros with an indie spirit that remembers how entertaining comics can be. It's the start of a fun mysterious adventure worth taking. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Comics of 2017

It's that time of year again. What comics site is complete without an obligatory "Best of 2017" list? No doubt it's been a crazy year in so many ways and the comic book industry is no different. But instead of concentrating on the scandals and controversies all that matters is the fruit of so many talented peoples' labor who've produced some amazing stories. These are just some of the best independent comics of 2017.


DISCLAIMER: [Editor's Note] Spartantown relies on the generosity of independent comic book publishers to provide review copies in order to post reviews. Thanks to companies like Image Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Archie Comics, Dynamite Comics, Black Mask Studios, Action Lab, and occasionally others, I've had access to some wonderful stories that otherwise I would have missed. I don't get review copies from mainstream publishers like DC Comics and Marvel so this "Best of..." list is far from comprehensive but a good sample …

REVIEW: 'Port of Earth' #3 by Zack Kaplan, Andrea Mutti, and Vladimir Popov

The hunt continues for a deadly rogue alien accused of killing a human. ESA agents Rice and McIntyre abide by different rules which make this pursuit a tense, precarious affair. A city on shut-down, a cop with a hair-trigger, and a showdown that could alter intergalactic diplomacy forever.


PORT OF EARTH #3 
Writer: Zack Kaplan Artist: Andrea Mutti Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 10, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Port of Earth' continues to evolve from a savvy sci-fi premise to a thrilling cop drama to a thought-provoking commentary on American worker displacement and the otherness of aliens as an allegory for immigrants. It's not heavy-handed mind you but there are layers to Zack Kaplan's story. When you consider the seismic change an alien technology that helps turn water into an efficient and powerful energy source would have on the planet it's inevitable that it would set off a societal chain reaction. Especially for those displaced by…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …