True Blood Comic #4: Conclusion of “Where Were You?”

This review will be spoilery, so I’ve tucked my comments below the Read More.

The ongoing comic series of True Blood capped its 4-issue story arc about what various characters were doing on the night the vampires revealed their existence (“Where Were You?”) with what I consider a very Sooric-friendly finale!  To recap the previous issues:

In #1, the focus was on Sookie’s story.  On the night the vampires came out,  Sookie had just started working in Merlotte’s and had an unpleasant run-in with a human guy she had previously dated who viewed her as a “freak.” There was a confrontation in the parking lot of the bar, but her former beau was driven off by what may have been an early manifestation of her faerie powers. In the present day, Eric asks Sookie to help waitress at Fangtasia on “Coffin Night,” the anniversary of the Great Revelation, more or less as an excuse to keep an eye on her since he is worried about what can happen to a faerie hybrid when vamps are out partying it up.  While Sookie is at the bar, another old associate of Eric’s meets an untimely death and his remains are sent to Eric as a message.

In #2, the focus was on Eric’s story of the night of the Great Revelation.  Nan Flanagan, representing the Authority, approached Eric and asked him to take out a notorious critic of the Mainstreaming movement, Remus — Godric’s vampire brother — who was performing as a Lestat-like rock star. Eric, recognizing that he has no choice but to obey, kills the members of Remus’s nest but opts to bury his “uncle” Remus in a deep ravine deep under an avalanche of rocks.  Unfortunately, that worked about as well as it did later on Russell Edgington — Eric quickly realizes in the present day that Remus has escaped his mountain prison and is the one who sent the deadly message.

In #3 the focus was on Bill’s story.  Bill had encountered Remus in 1982 London, playing on the punk rock scene, and the two had parted on less than friendly terms. The week before the Great Revelation, Bill encounters Remus again — in the court of Blood Mary Stuart, Queen of England’s vampires.  While Bill pays lip service to having turned to the Sanguinista way by Queen Sophie Anne, in reality he has been sent by Nan Flanagan and the Authority to assassinate Queen Mary via explosives.  He is successful — but her close ally Remus escapes.  In the present day, Remus has attacked a Coffin Night celebration in Bon Temps, and Bill intervenes as the Ruler of Louisiana.  Remus tries to kill Bill, but Jessica, alerted to her Maker’s danger asks Eric to save him, and Sookie convinces him to do so.  Eric is successful — but it is a bait and switch, as Remus has now arrived at Fangtasia to get Sookie.

True Blood #4, about which I will give the least detailed description in order to avoid being totally spoilery, focuses on Alcide’s story on the night of the Great Revelation. In the present time, the conflict between Eric and Remus comes to a head, and it does so over Sookie, who Remus has targeted as the one person whose death will hurt Eric the most.  (Pam is particularly offended at that analysis and protests!) I found the scenario very Sooric-friendly, despite Pam’s annoyance, and Sookie wants to help save Eric, although Eric orders Pam and Alcide to protect her.  My favorite detail besides Remus’s Sooric-driven motivation? We discover that in addition to the mountain of cash Eric has in the basement of Fangtasia, there is also a secret vault behind a titanium door, a room filled with what Eric calls his “plunder,” which consists of antiques and an extensive weapons collection.  And that’s where Sookie and Alcide find the one thing that will help them save the day  — and Eric.

All in all, I really enjoyed this arc, especially after the disappointments (from a Sooric perspective) of The French Quarter storyline.  Eric is portrayed as still deeply in love with Sookie, and while Bill is around, he is clearly secondary in this story.  (He is given a nice crumb when Eric tells him to go to ground because he might be the only person who will still be alive to avenge Sookie the next day — a role I was okay with him playing.)  And while Alcide gets his own suiter crumb in being referred to as “her” wolf at one point, it is clear that the primary relationship of the story is Eric and Sookie.  Definitely a nice wrap up and I’m looking forward to what this team — which includes writers Michael McMillian and Annie Nocenti and artist Michael Gaydos — does in the ongoing series.  Next up? The cover is teasing a flashback to Eric, Godric and Remus. Yum!

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