Elizabeth Bathory, also known as the Blood Countess, was a notorious serial killer who lived from 1560 to 1614. During her reign as a countess, she murdered hundreds of virgin girls and bathed in their blood in the belief that it would help her retain her youth. Despite her noble family preventing her from being tried, she was eventually sentenced in 1610 to remain Immured for the rest of her life. Why am I telling you this? Because Blood Queen is based on the Blood Countess. Count me in.
Blood Queen is the tale of a young practitioner of Blood Magic, which has been banned Nation-wide. After the king’s daughter grows ill from something which none of his regular staff can identify, they send Sir Ferenc to fetch Elder Winnifred, a master practitioner of magic, to heal the infant. Because she’s growing old and weak, she sends Elizabeth in her stead.
This issue’s story is straight forward, with Elizabeth helping cure the king’s daughter and find whoever is responsible. However, there are so many hints that both Elizabeth and the Elder have dark motivations of their own. This comic does a great job with introducing the key characters and setting a creepy tone that will most likely intensify as the series moves on. A couple lines of dialogue are a bit stiff, but otherwise Tony Brownfield’s writing is good.
The art by Fritz Casas is fantastic. The opening pages showcase a chained man being butchered for the sake of blood magic by the hands of a cloaked figure. The dark dungeon sets a creepy vibe, only to be followed by red-filled panels when the magic activates. The characters are well detailed and their facial expressions emote their feelings well. The action scene between Elizabeth, a couple knights and the blood magic practitioner is well-choreographed with the right amount of blood and fire magic.
This series has so much potential, and it’s off to a good start with its first issue. It’s just the right amount of creepy to ease readers into a story that promises horror, drama and a bit of fantasy. I wouldn’t exactly call it great, but it’s more than solid enough for me to stick around for issue 2. If anything about this comic sounds intriguing, you should check it out.