Home > Vertigo > Bite Club #2

Bite Club #2

May 8, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Flesh and Blood

Father Leto settles in to take over the family business, but Risa’s jealousy may win out.

Writers: Howard Chaykin & David Tischman
Art: David Hahn
Colors: Brian Miller
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Shelly Bond
Cover Art: Frank Quitely
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

The saga of the vampire mob family continues, and continues well. The Del Toro family is still reeling from the news that the late patriach Eduardo left his son Leto in charge. Leto has been the black sheep of the family ever since he entered the priesthood, and now that he’s in charge, his brother and sister are more than a little disturbed.

We delve much deeper into Leto this issue, seeing his own flaws and perversions which remind us that, priest or no, he’s still a vampire born into a family of criminals, and he’s got a lot of nasty things in his blood. Risa makes a particularly shocking move against him, and the last page of the issue is a portent of even more problems to come.

In another branch of the family, we see Danny Del Toro, son of Eduardo Jr., and the problems his bloodsucking heritage cause him at his high-end public school. In this world where the existence of vampires is public knowledge, they are treated as another ethnic minority, picked on a prejudiced against by some with small minds. Picking on the grandson of a mob boss is never a good idea, though, even if the minority they belong to isn’t one that drinks blood, and one gets the feeling that Danny’s darker side is going to come out before this miniseries is over.

The violence, while not absent from this issue, is toned way down, while the sex is turned way up. The relationship between Leto and his sister seems to be the axis around which this book is turning, and the things we learn about that relationship this issue are downright freaky, even while making for a great mob drama.

David Hahn’s artwork works really well in this issue. Not as detailed or realistic as a lot of artists, he has a more iconic style that suits the principals well. Leto manages to look confused most of the time, while Risa oozes sensuality. The book uses a muted color palette, but not as badly as the DC Focus books that carry almost a monotone. Colorist Brian Miller chooses a different dominant tone for each scene, and he’s good at choosing the tone that gets across the mood of the segment best. Good art always compliments a comic book story instead of overwhelming it, and that’s what we get here.

Two issues in and I’m really enjoying this miniseries. It’s a different take on vampires and mobsters, using elements familiar to both genres and blending them well. There seems to be lot of room to tell lots of stories here, and I hope our writers take advantage of all the corners this weird universe has and really start to explore.

Rating: 8/10

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