The DC “Dark” line has been absolutely killing it over the past three months. There’s really not a single flop in the roster, and I, VAMPIRE stands out as the best of the best. Unlike most of the new titles that kicked off with a bang, I, VAMPIRE began with a rather slow pace, offering a nice break from the usual in-your-face storytelling methods. Over the past two issues Fialkov put out some top-notch drama between the two main characters, mixed with some ultra gory scenes to keep things interesting. Not to mention Sorrentino’s artwork, which stands out as some of the most original in the new DC catalogue. Though the series started slowly, hopefully this issue will ‘up the ante’ and plenty of visceral blood spattering goodness. Though the vampire craze is rampant and downright annoying right now, don’t let that turn you off from this book. Read on for the skinny…
“Across the country, bodies litter the streets as the Queen of Blood builds her army. A weakened Andrew must seek the aid of an old ally, but the game of death has a new wild card who may help Andrew tip the balance of power – or decapitate him.”
The story so far is quite complex, jumping across different timelines and character perspectives. Though it apparently takes place in the same DCU as books like Batman and Green Lantern, I, Vampire looks like some dissonant wasteland where vampires roam free. Mary, the Queen of the Vamps, preaches to a bunch of lowly vamps about taking over the world, while her former lover, Andrew, is doing all he can to stop her atrocious acts. Fialkov does a wonderful job of creating both hero and villain, but by far the most interesting thing about the book is how they act when they are together. This isn’t your typical good vs. evil book, it functions on a much deeper level showing the gray areas in between. Having the hero and villain as former lovers adds a sense of doom and gloom to the narrative that makes the story all the more compelling.
Fialkov’s storytelling is absolutely wondrous, but Andrea Sorrentino’s art skills are deserving of equal praise. Although at times the art looks much too similar to Jae Lee’s work, it’s undeniable that it’s some of the best of the New 52. He incorporates heavy shadows, dark emotional lighting, and gives special attention to gory detail that’s enough to leave any horror fan drooling. The artwork and story fit together seamlessly and it might be the best match of the “Dark” lineup if not the entire DC catalogue.
The only thing that irks me, and many others, about this title, as I stated above, is that I have no idea where it fits into the rest of the DC Universe. I, Vampire reads much more like a Vertigo title taking place in its own little world. Perhaps adding another Vamp story to the Vertigo line was too much stiff competition for Snyder’s American Vampire, and lord knows Fialkov could give him a run for his money. Fialkov has stated in interviews that it will indeed be incorporated into the rest of the Universe, but that much remains to be seen. When it does happen, I cannot even imagine how it will play out (probably a good thing).
Given the slow pacing and character setup of the first two issues, I’ve got a gut feeling that this one is going to knock our socks off. This is a deeply emotional story that really pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the last page. Though the vampire genre has been eternally tainted by Twilight teenyboppers, this creative team does a commendable job of showing the real issues of living an immortal life. If you’re willing to put up with a few more vampires in your life, then you can’t miss I, Vampire.
I, Vampire Drops Wednesday November 23 From DC Comics!