Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Long Box #10: Bloodstone

Words: Andy Lanning & Dan Abnett
Pictures: Michael Lopez
December 2001-March 2002

Before Nextwave, Else Bloodstone had to learn who she was. Her father, Ulysses Bloodstone, was the premier Monster Hunter of the Marvel Universe. He made his first appearance in Marvel Presents #1 in October 1975.
The story here begins with Elsa and her pregnant mother arriving in America to attend to the now deceased Ulysses Bloodstone. The plan was to sell off his property and return home to England, and do it all without Elsa learning her father's secret.
Else is not happy with being there and expresses it very well. Her mother simply wants to wrap things up but once in the Bloodstone home she begins to remember the plans she and Ulysses had after he planned to retire from monster hunting.

In the first issue we get these elements as well as Elsa discovering some of the secrets of her late father, secrets that her mother doesn't want her to know about. We are also introduced to Mr. Barnabas who seems to like Elsa's mother and Adam, a Frankenstein Monster type guy who knows about Ulysses and what he did. He's the one who begins to explain to Elsa what her father was about and gives her the Bloodstone which gives her some interesting powers.
She also has her first monster fight. With Dracula.

The series progresses with Elsa fighting along with The Living Mummy and, later, Dracula himself. It ends as all good miniseries do, with a cliffhanger where we know more is going to happen we just won't be able to see it.

Naturally, it's very well written.  After all, Abnett and Lanning were the guys who made Rocket Raccoon and the talking tree Groot great characters again. The pacing is nice and it never gets boring. Upon a long overdue second reading I can say this series has lost none of it's charm and has actually got me wanting more Bloodstone. Perhaps something like the Lost Adventures of Bloodstone oneshot or miniseries, something to fill in the gap between this and when she first joined H.A.T.E and the Nextwave Squad.

On the art end, no complaints there either. For a book that is nearly 10 years old the look hasn't faded at all. This series could have easily been put out today and looked just as good. I found I had no problem getting back into it.
Even the covers are fun to look at. 

A few things that I noticed appears as though Elsa isn't really British as she was depicted to be in Nextwave. I got the impression she was an American who was raised in England. she was there long enough to pick up the slang and probably the accent, she mentions this in the first issue. Also, Elsa is blond here whereas in the Nextwave she is a red head.

Overall though...Bloodstone has great re-read value to it. Sometimes you go back and re-read something you loved years ago and find you have to force yourself to read it and you end up questioning yourself as to what the hell you liked about it in the first place. Not true for this mini. I actually think I will re-read this again in a year or so.
It's just a four parter and has never, to my knowledge, been collected in a trade. If you're interested in it you should be able to find them fairly cheap and the character was never a top tier one. Sad to, because something like this should take off.

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