Overview

I, Vampire #4

Review

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I, Vampire #4

Credits

  • Words: Joshua Hale Fialkov
  • Art: Andrea Sorrentino
  • Colors: Marcel Maiolo
  • Story Title: In Between Days
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Dec 28, 2011

Andrew Bennett needs to take a break from stopping the end of the world now and then, and a certain Brit might be his greatest ally or greatest threat in this amazing series.

One of I, Vampire's strengths has been that it hasn't been doing long arcs, but instead focuses on single issue stories that allow the characters to grow and revel in their situation, rather than constantly be on a large adventure. With this issue focusing on one night where Andrew decides to leave a motel he and his compatriots are staying at, the secondary crew barely factor into it, and the larger plot of Mary's plan for world domination is only referenced. In fact, Andrew himself splits the issue with a one-off character and John Constantine himself, who just happens to be in the area when the twist of the issue happens.

We're four issues into the relaunch of the series, and I, Vampire has been off the minds of most comic book readers for years. In fact, the Andrew Bennett of the series is drastically different in appearance from his predecessor, who was last regaled to cameos and supporting roles in Holiday Specials and various horror-related books. This is the time where, effectively, the book should be I, Vampire: Rebirth headlined by two major creative forces, with Warner Brothers eyeing it for a followup to Underworld and Twilight in the theaters. All the factors are there; teenage vampire hero, bloody sexy (and bloodily sexy) villainess, and if things were written right, a cameo from the Hellblazer himself would work wonders. Instead, the characters are moving at their own pace in their own book, with their own crew that may not be "major" in the terms of "moving books, getting headlines", but are major in the quality of their work. I, Vampire works as a great indie book that just happens to use a DC character created by J.M. DeMatteis in the 1980s and fits in the New 52 continuity. Lovingly so, if this book existed before the relaunch, it would seem more as if DC licensed out the characters to a crew for an Image or WildStorm book, or it would have existed squarely in Vertigo. This is the book's surprise power; it's a DC book that isn't a traditional DC book, but what a DC book in the New 52 should be. It stands on its own, does its own thing, and thrives with apparent creative freedom. We're not expecting Andrew to join with Justice League Dark, but cameos such as Constantine and Batman make sense for his mission.

Fialkov's writing is succinct and enjoyable, finding humor in small moments, enjoying writing a character that's wise beyond his years, and even having fun with Constantine, even if it drips a little into "Hey, he's British!" territory. Enjoyable as his writing is, the true star of the book is Andrew Sorrentino (supported by Marcel Maiolo), giving the book a distinct look that gets cinematic when it needs to, gritty at times, and works wonders with only using black and shades of orange and blue. It's the lack of coloring that makes this stand out; it's not riddled with too many clashing visuals as, say, Justice League Dark, or focused on the minutae as much as Jim Lee is on Justice League proper. It gets the story told, and the story being told doesn't need to see all the seams on his pants, for example.

I, Vampire is one of the strongest rebirths of the New 52, and shows what DC's willing to do with this renewed vigor. It would have been buried in Vertigo, but rises from the grave under DC.

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