Blessed Sons #1
Written by: Rich Bernatovech
Art by: Ihor Loboda
Published by: Drumfish Productions

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

From the cover alone I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Rich Bernatovech’s new book Blessed Sons. Bunch of dudes standing around in black…is it a wedding? Boarding school?  Hitler youth?  Turns out I was right in that it was a boarding school – which we see burning to the ground during the first two pages. It’s a great way to start off a book. We see a character looking from the distance at the burning building. It looks like a young man in uniform. He informs the reader of his crimes but gives no motive. Maybe he just wanted to see the building burn. Who is this mystery man? We are given no clue of that at first either.

By page three we’ve moved to the past with the pre-arson school looking very nice and prestige. A bunch of kids look very bored by a class being taught by some priest. Catholic school? Got it. It’s pretty much your typical rich white school except for the one lone brother tossed into the mix (I hope he isn’t the first to die). The interactions between these kids are pretty much your standard interactions with a bunch of sixteen year old boys at a boarding school. Fuck with one another, getting angry at one another, and try to hook up girls. It seems to be an all boys school but there’s girls so I guess they are townies?

Most of the comic is about these interactions and we don’t learn what the book is truly about until near the end. It was a twist I didn’t see coming even with the foreshadowing in the beginning. As most of the book is dedicated to the reader getting to know the characters I really felt that it gave Blessed Sons a very teenage manga vibe to it but with just an American twist. Even the artwork by Ihor Loboda felt like it is manga inspired even though everything has a very American feel to it.  Maybe some European as well.  His artwork defies nations!

This being an independent comic I don’t want to give a lot away.  I do want to talk about the book enough that if I make it sound interesting enough you’ll want to be on the lookout for it. In that I will say that this book feels more like a horror book, distinguishing itself from Bernatovech’s earlier superhero books like Neverminds and Sentinels. As you read about these boys and get to know their personalities you begin to wonder what the endgame is. The end of the issue pretty much shows why it is important to get to know them. We know everything isn’t bright and cheery for these kids. The book starts with the school in flames. But the book is interesting enough to make the reader want to know the secrets behind the school. By the time you reach the end it all makes sense and ends in a way that you want issue #2 in your hands soon.

I like Loboda’s artwork and his colors are really superb. The man has smooth pencils but the coloring is a true standout. It’s a gorgeous book from beginning to end. It’s also a great read. Truly intriguing. All in all Blessed Sons #1 was a great time and a true return to form for Bernatovech. This project has landed my interest and I can’t wait to see where it all goes from here.


Find Blessed Sons #1 at ComiXology (for a buck!):

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