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26 of 52: I, Vampire #1

by on October 3, 2011

Do you ever just get a feeling about something. Just a sense that you’re going to like something, from the flimsiest of evidence.

I’m not talking about the time when someone you like is writing/creating something you like. (Wow, Neil Gaiman is writing Doctor Who? Huh, wonder if that will be any good…) I mean the other kind , when the cover of something catches your attention, or the description piques your interest.

So, I was reasonably intrigued when DC released their list of the new 52, and I, Vampire was on the list. I like horror comic books, but I don’t run to comic books because there are vampries or zombies in them. I remembered I Vampire from the 4 color advertisements in the comic books of my youth, as he appeared in the anthology title House of Mystery. He also made an appearance in the short lived Dr. Fate written by his creator, J.M. Dematteis.

Let’s see how this latest incarnation turns out.

I, Vampire #1: Tainted Love
Writer: Joshual Hale Fialkov | Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

I, Vampire tells the story of Andrew Bennett, who was turned into a vampire several centuries ago. Bennett is a reluctant Vampire who has turned away from the world of the creatures of the night.

Synopsis

  • Andrew and his vampire lover Mary have a lovers quarrel that frames the book. Andrew believes being a vampire is a curse, and he must destroy all vampires from feeding on humans. Mary wants to lead a vampire revolution against the humans. Neither can convince the other to join their side.
  • Andrew and Mary have a final night together, when Andrew wakes up alone, a portion of the city is decimated and several vampire bodies litter the streets.
  • Mary leaves Andrew a note saying that she is starting the revolution, and that she knows he will try to stop her.
  • Andrew tries to deliver a mercy killing to the vampires in the street. When he tries to kill a young woman, she taunts him before revealing that this has been planned for months, and is a trap by Mary to have her vampire minions kill Andrew.
  • Andrew escapes but leads the vampire horde into the subway system, where they attack the passengers getting off the train.

Questions and Answers

  1. Bennett says to a vampire, “May God have mercy on your soul” before he kills him. Does Andrew believe that he is a damned soul, or is he trying to redeem himself.
  2. Bennett seems to think that Mary is different than the vampire she has become? Does he think he is different than the Andrew who walked as a human.
  3. The city shown has a subway which has the sense of New York City. Where did this take place. If it is a major city, how could Mary lay waste to a section of the city without garnering serious attention from the authorities or the DCnU superheroes?
  4. Mary is calling herself Mary, Queen of Blood. She has an army of her progeny gearing to attack the world.
  5. The vampires that attack the city are “Full Bloods”. Apparently this is a specific vampire creation process that takes longer, so much that Bennett is much surprised when he sees the number of Vampires trying to attack him.

Analysis

Okay, I liked this book, a great deal. I love how the book is told from a circular perspective. The argument between Mary and Andrew seems to be like a circular argument where neither will ever convince the other, and yet spoken without over emotion or dramatic flair or even true tension. Reminds me of the civil discussions between Magneto and Professor Xavier at times.

Whoever thought a good idea was to have Andrew’s speak in a dark red dialog box, and Mary’s speak in a light red dialog box should be smacked. Okay, they are both vampires. They are both creatures of the blood. But comprehension is lost here, and I didn’t need to be turning back pages to re-remember which color was associated with who. Whereas if Andrew’s was Red and Mary’s was Purple, that would have been more effective.

I am a huge fan of friends/lovers who are on opposite sides of a battle. A writer can put much more fun and interest into a scenario where two people are warring who know and respect each other. To add the narrative of a lovers quarrel around the plight of Andrew Bennett and Mary Seward was really delightful.

Mary as a revolutionary figure, is also a very interesting tact for a book like this. The old adage that every villain is the hero in their own story works very well here.

The trap was really well done. I liked Andrew being pulled into it, and quite early and astutely recognizing his plight.

The art was well done, but after reading a 22 page comic book, I have no visual image (really) of what Andrew Bennett looks like. I like shadow-play with artwork, but there was too much of it here, and I didn’t have a sense of the characters. Mary looks very similar to the female vampire who Bennett tries to kill.

Excellent debut episode. I knew the barest of outlines about Andrew Bennett, and I was able to color in a lot of details in a single issue.

Rating

I’m troubled that I really am enjoying the non traditional DCnU titles, but I can’t help it. This one was very nicely paced and plotted. The conversation provided a nice narrative between Bennett and Mary. I learned everything I needed to know about the character. And I am significantly intrigued to see what happens next.

A (Well crafted)

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From → Comic Books, DCnU

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