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CSBG Archive

Almost Hidden – The Introduction of the Blood Syndicate

Even with this large amount of comic books that have been collected in trade paperbacks, there are still a number of great comic books that have never been reprinted (I’d say roughly 60% of them are DC Comics from the 1980s through the mid-1990s). So every day this month I will spotlight a different cool comic book that is only available as a back issue. Here is an archive of the comic books featured so far.

I want you folks to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com with your suggestions for comics that I should feature this month. I’d like to see what you all would like to see get more attention.

Reader Ricardo wanted me to spotlight some uncollected Milestone Media comics, so sure, let’s take a look at the Blood Syndicate, specifically the first four issues, by Dwayne McDuffie, Ivan Velez, Jr., Trevor Von Eeden, James Fry, Arvell Jones and Andrew Pepoy…

Enjoy!

It’s funny, when I first read Blood Syndicate #1 years ago when it came out, I was worried about the plot device of having a white reporter be the introduction to the Blood Syndicate, the super-powered gang.

However, looking back, I think it really does work – there is a lot of exposition to get across, so having a reporter do it is smart, and having it be someone from outside of their normal world is probably a good idea. So, 18 years later, let me say, “My bad, Dwayne McDuffie and Ivan Velez, Jr.!”

Here we see the book open with the reporter going to do a story on the Syndicate…

(click to enlarge)

Pretty neat intro, huh?

Later in the first issue, there’s an interesting bit spotlighting the leader of the group, Tech 9, who seems a bit of a Lone Ranger-type…

Gory, but clever.

Issue #1 ends with a strong piece of characterization as we see Tech 9 and Holocaust come to loggerheads over the direction of the gang…

This leads to the brilliant #2, which is a really great issue, as the two await their battle to determine who leads the group, and we meet one of the coolest members of the group, Dogg…

And then the battle starts – McDuffie and Velez really shined with their work here…

Awesome, right?

This leads to a battle with some bad guys in #3 and #4 that includes a twist so dramatic that I am not going to show any of it, except to note, that, wow, it was one heck of a risk, especially coming after the awesomeness of #2.

So go find these issues, people!

5 Comments

I really liked Blood Syndicate as a kid. I remember when the Milestone books came out I thought it would be Icon and Hardware where the line would shine, and while both are good books, I enjoyed the Syndicate and Static a lot more during that first year.

The Crazed Spruce

August 28, 2011 at 5:13 am

I remember loving the first issue, but the store where I bought most of my comics at the time stopped carrying all of the Milestone titles after the first issue. I hate to think that race had something to do with it, but my area is about 75% white and 25% native (closer to 60/40 if you incude the neighboring towns), so they probably didn’t think there was a market for them here.

The characters were really interesting for the time. Lots of diverse races and also sexual orientation.Boogeyman and wise son were 2 of my faves.

Michael M Jones

August 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I was a total Milestone fan back in the day. I even had a t-shirt airbrushed with an awesome picture of the Blood Syndicate member Kwai, from her intro.

I really hope that the recent reintroductions of Xombi and Static will lead to some of the other Milestone regulars getting a shot again. But only if the creative teams truly appreciate the diversity and edge of the material.

Awesome throwback of The Blood Syndicate series. Im still hoping we,will see these guys return in the new DCU 52 world.

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