The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina recently passed and while there have been a multitude of destructive storms; Katrina is remembered as the costliest in US history in both property damage and loss of life. Almost two thousand people died and over a hundred billion dollars in damage occurred. The primary factors of the massive damage to the city of New Orleans was the epic failure of the levee system that was supposed to keep the flood water away from the city and the utter lack of response from local, State & Federal governments. Even a decade later the after-effects can still be keenly felt both socially and economically. But what if the surge protection failures were not a matter of engineering failure but part of a much darker plot to cover up something supernatural and evil?
This is the premise of Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water. We meet Virgil Lafleur during the height of the emergency operations post Katrina. As a member of the Coast Guard, he is doing his best to assist his friends and neighbors from their flooded homes through helicopter rescues. During a fly-by of his own childhood home, he sees that the house is completely submerged. Acting on instinct, he dives into the water, navigating through the rooms only to discover his mother and father in the attic. There is still a small pocket of air but his father has already succumbed to the heat and thin air and his mother is barely hanging on. Before she dies, she makes him promise to look after his brother, Trey. While exiting the house, Virgil witnesses a number of bodies in the water that have not drowned, but have had their throats slit. This horrific scene coupled with his parents’ demise causes a mental breakdown
Fast forward to the present day and the city still shows signs of the stress of Katrina. Virgil has kept his word to look after Trey, who is now a doctor. With his promise fulfilled, Virgil prepares to leave New Orleans with another major storm bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Before he can leave however, tragedy strikes once more. Virgil is thrown into a seedy underworld of New Orleans that will make him confront his worst memories and darkest fears. Can he be a hero for his community once more?
Author Mark Landry is a native of Louisiana who is best known as the co-creator of the Disney Teen Beach Movie franchise. With Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water, he has created a world far removed from the family fare that Disney has to offer. He brings just the right balance of the real life horrors of a natural disaster with the ones associated with creatures of the night. What really sold it for me is the phenomenal artwork of Ashley Marie Witter. Her previous work on titles such as Squarriors and Interview With A Vampire was sublime and there is no fall off here. Her lines are bold with dramatic tones and Ms. Witter excels in conveying the emotions of the horror genre through her work. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists working in comics today.
Some of my favorite stories are set against the back drop of real life events because of the emotions associated with them. With the catastrophe of Katrina still fresh in the mind of the public; Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water accomplishes its goal to introduce a riveting story and the genesis of a hometown hero.
4.5 Lockets out of 5