Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DC New 52 Review: I, Vampire #1

This is my third review on the New 52 titles.

I, Vampire #1
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Cover Price: $2.99

In a nutshell:
Typical Modern Vampire Story set in the DC Universe

In this story we meet what looks to be the two main players in this series, Andrew, who looks to be the main protagonist, is a vampire who wants to peacefully coexist with humans, and his lover Mary who has a blood lust and wants to lead a Vampire Army to take over the earth. The couple has been together for four hundred years, since Andrew turned Mary into a vampire, and we're lead to believe that they had some sort of relationship before she was turned and that she had a very different nature to her when she was human. Mary seems to fully love Andrew for what he is, even loving that he opposes her plans for conquest. Andrew on the other hand has a more puritanical view of Mary, still holding on to the human she used to me and denying the blood thirsty vampire that she has become. The story flips back and forth between their last night together and the war between them that follows.

Why did I pick it up?
I originally wasn't going to. The cover art is good but it's such a popular style these days that it really didn't give me an idea that this was any different than most other comics out there. But the timing just lined up right as I've been sucked into HBO's True Blood series which just ended their fourth season, and I was feeling some withdrawal. When I paged through the comic at the comic shop I was pleasantly surprised to find that the art had a more realistic and moodier style than what was represented on the cover, so I gave it a shot.

The Good:
What makes this comic interesting is that, so far at least, is the external conflict is just a reflection of the relationship issues between these two lovers. True Blood fans with notice the similarities between Andrew and Bill Compton in that they both are in denial of their more carnal vampire natures and they both wish to peacefully coexist with humans. Mary you can imagine might be what True Blood's Sookie might eventually become if she was changed into a vampire, letting go of the innocence and repression and fully realizing her hunger and passion. Andrew is haunted by the pureness in his love for the human that Mary was and his feeling that he has tainted her. And he is torn because he realizes that Mary is a serious threat to the world that he cares about. It's not a new story concept to have enemies who are connected this way, but it is one that draws you in.

The Bad:
When characters like Superman and Wonder Woman are mentioned as potential enemies for Vampires to fight, it is distracting as this story doesn't really feel like it exists in the same world as superheroes. Early issues of horror/fantasy comics Swamp Thing and Sandman also acknowledged the existence of DC's superheroes and yet their Vertigo runs were totally self contained and it's not hard to get past in this story but it would not serve this comic well if eventually the stories crossed over with superhero characters.

Is it worth it?
If your a fan of modern vampire stories, this looks like it's going to be a good series to follow. The first issue has me committed to buying the next.

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