The Twilight Age Issue 3: The Blood Factory (2009)

Sex :
Violence :
Editor Baden Kirgan
Publisher Black House Comics
Writer J. Scherpenhuizen
Art and Colours J. Scherpenhuizen
Cover J. Scherpenhuizen
Genre Apocalypse

Talk us through it


“Welcome Mein Schatz, to your new home” - Dracula

There's certain times in your life when you have to wonder if perhaps you aren't taking on too many things and are allowing the important stuff to slip through your fingers. I thought I had reviewed all issues of The Twilight Age (TWA) to hand when the latest package of Black House comics arrived, including Issues 4 and 5 of TWA. Having a few other things on my plate I put the comics aside, my focus being on reducing the backlog of material to review accumulated over the last couple of weeks. Baden Kirgan naturally had other ideas when, with no thought to my work load, he published the latest issue of The Dark Detective and a new line in Eeek magazine. Naturally I had to order those immediately and thus decided to clear the comic queue. There was something of a shock waiting for me when I realised I had TWA Issue 3 ready to go and it had been for quite some time. So apologises to readers, here's the belated review that should have gone up on site last year!

Issue 3 kicks off with a couple frolicking at a beach eight weeks after the plague devastated the human population. Simon is a young long haired surfer type, while Gilly is at an age where her pregnancy might lead to complications. She wants to find a larger community that may have a doctor, and Simon agrees with some reservations. We flash back eight weeks and FBI Agent Justin Barnett arrives in the nick of time to rescue some white guy who thinks he's a Native American from a pride of lions. All roads lead to Savannah Georgia.

In Savannah, Georgia Dracula is continuing in his psychotic fashion to terrorise the surviving natives and when Simon and Gilly run into him it's not love at first site, with Dracula having a little surprise for the couple. And if Dracula isn't enough to worry about some unknown entity has awakened for some unknown purpose. Will Agent Barnett arrive in time to save the situation?

J. Scherpenhuizen continues the high standard he has achieve in TWA with Issue 3. The pacing of the comic isn't allowed to lag at any stage and our central characters are all moving toward a final showdown. Whether or not the outcome of this showdown will determine if H. P. Lovecraft's elder gods return or not remains to be seen. Scherpenhuizen introduces a few new characters to the equation and manages to insert them without detracting overly from the direction things have been moving in. There's always a danger in introducing new characters, unless they provide a mechanism to keep the plot flowing, that they will appear to simply operate as a plot devices. Here the new characters provide a focus to continue the development of the overall story and don't in any way feel like simply constructs to overcome plot issues.

While J. Scherpenhuizen stays focused on his plot direction there is certainly plenty of room in TWA Issue 3 to explore the current comic in front of you. I like how additional details are thrown into the mix without distracting from the rhythm and pace of the overall plot arcs. For example we are informed that Savannah's population is 342 in a single pane and are then shown civilisation re-emerging almost as a background event to the current action. I can appreciate a writer who fills in all those small details you may, or may not, have been wondering about without sidetracking from the main story being told. It's like the bass line to a good rock number, you know it's there and the importance of the guitar, but it's not taking you away from the lead singer or guitar solos.

Once again the comic is presented in full glorious colour with attention to detail hammering home a good experience for the reader. There's a classic comic book feel to things which most comic book readers will appreciated. The text is clear, easy to read, and the character dialogue remains consistent through out. I wonder if J. Scherpenhuizen developed his plot and then wrote the comic before getting his fingers stained in ink? Issue 3 remains consistent with the previous issues, you will be able to identify the lead characters without having to look at the panes, it's overall a pretty solid time in Country.

I'm still enthralled by the story being told here by J. Scherpenhuizen and devoured the issue without a break. Okay it's not a huge book but generally I like to read a few pages of comic, take a break, and ponder what I'm reading, before continuing. With TWA Issue 3 I tore through it, took a break, and then re-read it a couple of times to ensure I got full value for my involvement. An excellent comic that will have you wanting more.

For those after their own copy of TWA Issue 3, I collect so don't ask, you can purchase via Black House Comic's online store over at Yes the Publisher will ship overseas.

ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...

  Very solid middle comic in a series.