Saturday, February 4, 2012

It Came From the Back Issue Bin! #25: Update of "I, Vampire", the end of "Severed" mini-series and the new "Nazi Zombies" series report

By Jason Shayer

I, Vampire #1-5
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Colours by Marcelo Maiolo
Published by DC Comics
Nov 2011- Mar 2012
I, Vampire is a dark and clever blend of a 400-year love story, a mounting vampire-human war, and a vampire struggling with his convictions and beliefs. The protagonist, Andrew Bennett, an ancient vampire finds himself at odds with his former lover, Mary Seward now Mary Queen of Blood, as she sets out to make her vampires the dominant species on the planet.

Joshua Hale Fialkov portrays each of the main characters from different points of view, giving us a well-rounded impression of them. The events in the story continue to build and escalate as Bennett prepares to deal with Mary’s war.

What proves to be interesting is that the events of this story aren’t taking place in a Vertigo Earth or alternate Earth, but in the DC Universe and it affects all corners of that universe as her vampires mobilize. John Constantine and Batman are drawn into the early stages of the war and provide an interesting point of view on our driven and conflicted protagonist.

This first five issues are a solid setup for a very promising story arc and I’m really looking forward to what the all-out war will look like. Andrea Sorrentino’s art is luscious and moody; a perfect fit for this book.

Severed #7
Written by Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft
Art by Attila Futaki
Published by Image Comics
February 2012
“Home Is Where The Heart Is” brings a dramatic end to this haunting and disturbing miniseries. If you read my last column, I’m sure you heeded my advice and raced to your local comic store to get caught up on "Severed". If you did, issue #7 was a nerve-wracking, nail-biting reward.

Snyder and Tuft reserved a few twists and turns for their concluding issue and even succeed at elevating the tension level without going over the top. Futaki delivers some of his best art of the series and renders the story through some very innovative panel layouts.

The only thing I didn’t like was how Jack dispatched antagonist. After what Jack had been through, I found it difficult to believe that he wouldn’t make sure that the monster was dead. Instead, like a Bond villain, he leaves the scene before we can be sure the monster’s dead. It seemed rather contrived as the story’s wrap up played on that element to give us one last little bit of that unsettled feeling.

However, this series serves as a great example of how a comic book can be a wonderful medium to deliver horror. Hopefully this series will also inspire other big name creators to take a step in the darkness and create something fresh and innovative.

Nazi Zombies #1
Writer: Joe Wight
Artist: Joe Wight/Ben Dunn
Published by Antarctic Press
January 2012
You know I have a difficult time resisting anything with zombies, especially with Nazi Zombies! This new ongoing series is put out by Antarctic Press which has also been publishing Brian Keene’s The Last Zombie series. This first issue didn’t disappoint and featured two stories, the first seems to be an ongoing serial and the second one hinted at being a prologue to a larger storyline. “Operation:Hammerhead!” takes you deep behind German lines with a crack group of American soldiers as they take on General Hans Richter and his Death Corps. The grey-tone water colouring was a nice touch that added depth to the story’s atmosphere.

While “Afrika Korpse” shifts us a few thousand miles south and 3 years earlier to the Libyan desert where a group of British soldiers have a run-in with Nazi undead. It’s solid, stand-alone story, surprisingly rich in character for a 14-page comic. This story’s inking really stood out, not only complementing the anime-style pencils, but sharpened the visual experience and defined the story flow.

Overall, Nazi Zombies #1 delivers some great historical zombie fun and I’m looking forward to issue #2.

--Jason Shayer