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I, Vampire #1 Review: Vampires, Vampires, Everywhere…

ivampire 1 e83The DC reboot is upon us, comic book sniffers! Welcome to the new DC universe! In an effort to help bring new readers into the world of comics, the Fanboy Comics staff has decided to review at least five new #1 issues each week of September, DC’s reboot launch month.

If there’s one thing I dig, it’s vampires. I’ve been obsessed with them since my early days of middle school. I tore through all the standards: multiple Dracula films, The Lost Boys, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, Vampire: The Masquerade (both table-top and LARP versions), Dark Shadows, Near Dark, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, etc. If it dealt with vampires, I’d check it out. That was my unchanging rule. Now, I won’t go into why I latched onto vampires and how I identified with them, as much has already been said on the subject, but I will say that it’s odd to think back to those days in this post-Twilight world. Things are vastly different in the pop culture landscape when it comes to vampires and the old, weak, and standard won’t survive. Unfortunately, those words couldn’t better describe DC’s reboot of I, Vampire #1.

SPOILERS BELOW

Here’s a quick summary of Issue #1:

This first issue features two stories told parallel to each other. One is happening in current time and the other tells the events of the previous night. During the previous night, our two main characters, Mary and Andrew, are debating each other. Both are vampires, but Andrew feels life is sacred while Mary is planning some sort of attack on mankind. She attempts to persuade Andrew, who is her maker, to join them, but he refuses. Still, he can’t resist spending the night with her.

In the current timeline, Andrew is awake and outdoors as he walks through a pit of bodies. Every so often, a body rises – a vampire – and Andrew is forced to stake and behead them. Then, body after body begins to rise. To Andrew’s horror, they inform him that this is a trap set by Mary for him. He races into the subway with a mob of vampires after him. Andrew realizes he’s lead the killers to a train that is coming to a stop, brimming with passengers. He begs for the vampires to have mercy, but it’s too late. It’s a bloodbath.

At this point, we are taken to the moment in the past when Andrew woke after spending the night with Mary. He reads a letter she left him, stating that today she and her vampires would launch their attack against mankind. Andrew gets up, looks outside the window, and sees a pile of human bodies, not knowing they are the vampires Mary left for him. He will soon, though…

The Good

Yea for vampires! Like I stated in the beginning, I’m a big vampire fan. Any advancement for the blood-drinking undead is a positive thing to me. I can even find positive things to say about Twilight, so, of course, the idea of vampires taking on Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman has a certain appeal to me. Also, it’s always nice to see another vamp comic on the shelf. Vampire comics are both a staple of the American comic book genre and a tool to be used to help defeat the undead (if the Frog Brothers are to be believed).

The Bad

There’s nothing new here. And, this is why this comic ultimately fails. Vampire comics are nothing new. Even before Twilight saturated the market, comics like 30 Days of Night, Buffy: Season 8, Angel: After the Fall, and more stocked the stores and would seek out new ways to explore the vampire mythos. Even Marvel was invaded by vampires recently! In this uber-vamp-savvy culture, it’s necessary to stand out from the pack. Sure, the archetypal characters that Mary and Andrew represent have been used successfully for years in the vampire genre, but, at this point, it’s six feet under from over done! There’s nothing new here, so it just blends into everything else.

Jenny Frison’s cover rocks. Which is not a bad thing! Frison does amazing work, just like her recent run on the covers of IDW’s Angel comic book series. Angel, as in the story of a redemptive vampire. Do you see where I’m going yet? This cover is beautiful, but it could easily be a cover of Angel. Slap an Angel title on it, and it would be indistinguishable from the covers of the other Angel books. Not a great way to make your vampire comic stand out against the competition.

That’s all I’ve got on this one. I won’t be taking my chances with Issue #2. If you need a vamp comic with real bite, head over to Dark Horse and check out Angel & Faith.

Stake ’em if you got ‘em,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer

Bryant Dillon, Fanbase Press President

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Favorite Comic BookPreacher by Garth Ennis and Steve DillonFavorite TV ShowBuffy the Vampire Slayer Favorite BookThe Beach by Alex Garland

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