Brainiac On Banjo: A Magical Event? Uhh… Bite Me?

They push you to the ground. You’re lying in the mud. They bite your neck, and they drink your blood. You’re lying there alone, trying to catch your breath, trying to cancel your appointment with the angel of death. — From Lesbian Vampyres From Outer Space, by The Scary Bitches.

In conversation earlier this week, I was asked if I could list all of the comics event series that are going on right now. I thought for a second, came up with two, realized there’s more, and then I let out a quiet “No. No, I cannot.”

Okay. I’ve bitched and moaned about the Comics Event Trap before and those feelings haven’t changed — events are not events when everything is an event, damnit! However, the fact that I am of an honest persuasion begs me to admit there is one such series going on right now that I not only remember, but I actually like.

It’s called “Blood Hunt,” it’s from Marvel, and it’s all about a massive vampire assault on this here planet. You might think that alone would turn me off — the whole global monster-takeover thing has been done to death, be it zombies, werewolves, vampires, or MAGA. In each (save for the last) the outcome is predetermined. Eventually, humans get their planet back.

But Blood Hunt seems to avoid other aspects of the Comics Event Trap that annoy me all the way to my keyboard. I say “seems” because we’re about a month into it and, like all of us in the commercial pop culture racket, there’s always the opportunity to screw the pooch.

My greatest problem with these things is that they extend to way too many tie-ins. Some are on-going series and that’s a bitch if I happen to follow that series but couldn’t care less about the Event stunt, or vice versa. Others are mini-series that tie-in with the Event and are named accordingly. That’s a good news / news situation: they are easier to avoid but often are decent stories with a beginning, middle and end, particularly if it’s a three-issue mini.

Thankfully, I haven’t found this to be an issue in the Blood Hunt Event. Things that happen that affect the mainline have been incidental at best and referenced in the mainline.

Of course, the fact that Doctor Strange — and Blade — are the pivotal characters right now helps me, as a reader, a lot. OK, I’ve been annoyed with Marvel about the Blade creator thing for several ownerships now, but Doctor Strange is my favorite Marvel character, second only to Fin Fang Foom. He’s had his ups and downs in his own many, many monthlies, and lately he seems to be dying one hell of a lot. But even though he’s married now and has a big green ghost dog, Strange remains one of the few threads that hold the Marvel Universe together; he appears whenever and wherever he is needed, including in various Magic Ex Machina op-out storylines.

I also find the overall volume of Event matter to be a problem. Generally speaking, each such Event in the aggregate contains about as many individual “chapters” as we find in your typical manga series. There comes a point where the reader wonders how much longer the usually thin plot line can go on. Is the Event worth maybe maybe $80 to $100 bucks a month? The only people I know who can afford that kind of money no longer have that kind of money, if they were working in a state that legalized weed.

Well, I guess I’m cheating here. I know Blood Hunt wraps up in five months, total. That should not impose much of a burden on my ever-decreasing attention span. Those that are simply tie-ins are labeled as such (somewhere) and, again thus far, not mandatory reading. You probably won’t have to get a second mortgage to follow this one.

Is Blood Hunt a great Event series? Well, I wouldn’t give it an “A” right now (it ain’t over ‘till it’s over), but it’s been good, solid American comic book fare. There’s been some clever stuff thus far, and, yes, I’ve been introduced to a couple of characters I hadn’t seen, at least in their current incarnations.

When it comes to DC and Marvel — and the temptation exists at other publishers as well — I often think all they know how to publish are Comics Event Traps. And don’t get me started on DC’s current “Crisis On Infinite Brainiacs” Comics Event Trap.

Have yourself a great, and a safe, Memorial Day!