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Ex Sanguine #5 [Dark Horse Comics] Review

Posted on February 5, 2013 AT 07:45pm

The finale to this chilling horror tale has finally arrived! Ex Sanguine ends here, and the results of this twisting tale of murder, lust and intrigue will definitely be one that surprises many readers. As Ex Sanguine #4 finished up, there was a lot to wonder about, especially when it came to the actions of FBI Agents Quinn and Franks, who have been trying to pin the murders of the mysterious Sanguine Killer on bored, lonely vampire Saul Adams. Though Saul’s life has been infinitely more exciting since meeting Ashley, the real Sanguine Killer, Quinn’s past keeps her hot on the trail of Adams, planning on taking in Adams as the true mastermind behind the mysterious deaths. Quinn has even gone out of her way to make sure the case points towards Saul’s capture, making it evident that things are about to come to a major finale.

As the series comes to its conclusion, many things were still up in the air. With the murderous protagonists getting closer and closer to capture and Quinn’s horrifying past finally proving her mental instability, the oncoming collision of intensity was one that was a long time coming, but one that looked very interesting. The closing of the series was just as brutal as the beginning, with the fates of Saul and Ashley hinging on their ability to prove that it wasn’t Ashley who committed the last crime, that it was a set-up from a certain person in the know to make sure Saul was taken in as the killer. This results in a graphic and fast-paced conclusion that makes sure everything is tied up nicely, though there is a bit of a mess to clean up. It was a good run, however, and despite the overt use of sexuality in a horror title and a penchant for being a bit over-the-top with gore, it was a fun series to sink some teeth into (pun intended).

Tim Seely seems like he’s had a great time writing this series thus far. With crazy sex, lots of violence and a horror twist, this is a story that many readers should definitely enjoy, and Seely has delivered. The series has been as fun as it’s been bloody, and that’s saying quite a bit, considering the content of the interior panels. As far as horror writers go, Seely is definitely one of the best, and this five-issue miniseries makes fact of that. Joshua Scott Emmons makes his presence known as well, meshing with Seely’s style to make an unforgettable story. While the twisting of a sort-of love story into the main plot of death, murder and betrayal was a bit off-putting at first (especially since the “love story” was more about lust and aggression), it eventually waned, being used only as a plot device to bring the two main characters together and giving the series a nudge in the right direction. This plot device paid off in the end, even if the sudden change of Ashley from lovestruck psychopath to cold-hearted killer was a bit too drastic, especially in the last few issues.

Seely’s artwork is one of the biggest draws of the series, however. Brutal and full of gore, his trademark horror style shines brightly in this series. While given the trademark Dark Horse treatment in terms of artistic style, Seely makes sure his penchant for blood and violence rings through, and it definitely does. The color schemes and terrifying action sequences done by colorist Carlos Badilla  have made this series, and this issue in particular, very enjoyable, giving a dark and haunting tone to an already dark tale.

Summary: While it doesn’t do everything right, this is a great horror series, witha  few interesting twists added to the normal styles of the genre. Tim Seely, Joshua Scott Emmons and Carlos Badilla have put a lot into these five issues, and it’s shown throughout each of them, ending in an exciting and scary conclusion with this issue. For those who have followed the entire series, it’s sure to have been a fun ride, and those who haven’t should give it a shot.

The Good: Solid Writing And Exciting Artwork

The Bad: Lots And Lots Of Gore (Bad For Those Who Don’t Like That Sort Of Thing)

The Ugly: Was Gore Mentioned? Because That Can Look pretty Ugly

Score: 8.5


Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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