Overview

Impaler Volume 2

Review

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Impaler Volume 2

Credits

  • Words: William Harms
  • Art: Matt Timson
  • Publisher: Top Cow Productions/Image Comics
  • Price: $14.99
  • Release Date: Aug 4, 2010

This has been a great month for hardcover and collected trade releases, and the publication of William Harms and Matt Timson's Impaler volume 2 deserves the attention of readers who either may have missed out on the single issues or series fans who want to learn more about the creative process and concepts behind its creation.

Even for someone like me who did not read the first volume (but definitely will now), Impaler is horror comics and vampire fiction done right.  Unencumbered by superhero continuity and constraints that often reduced the impact of horror sequences in Marvel Zombies or DC's Blackest Night, Top Cow's Impaler creates an atmosphere and environment where the threats are significant and the consequences lasting.  Most of this landscape is largely crafted by the amazing and talented work of artist Matt Timson.  Building off writer William Harms' solid script, which fans get a glimpse of in the Bonus Material section, Timson's digital artistry is horrifically beautiful in his depiction of vampires, cityscapes, and average, everyday humans.  Not relying simply upon formulaic gore or bloodshed, Timson's art evokes responses from readers due in large part to the textures, lighting, coloring, and details he provides in each panel.  Detractors of digital comics art should pay attention to Timson's work in this series.  Having only previously experienced Timson's work in Gutsville #2, his efforts in Impaler have secured him a valuable position in the contemporary comic art industry.

Focusing on the efforts of Victor and Vlad to combat an ensuing invasion of the United States by vampires, Harms creates a narrative that juxtaposes their efforts alongside those of a select group of military agents to halt the vampires' progression outside of the eastern seaboard.  While readers familiar with the characters and the plot from volume 1 may have a greater connection to the story and the figures involved, Harms succeeds at building intriguing and interesting characters that newcomers can easily follow and appreciate.  Harms also deserves credit for luring fans and enticing them to want to learn more about the backstory and cast.  Whether or not some of this information is revealed in the first volume is unknown at this time, but Harms has planted important seeds that only a sequel can fully address.

Although definitely more action heavy than plot driven, Harms also does a magnificent job of fleshing out (no pun intended) secondary stories within the larger vampire hunt fest that occupies most of Impaler.  For example, in the teases as to the villain's origin and connections to Vlad, as well as in the shorter sequences with Darlene, audiences obtain just enough story to balance out the main thematic focus on the major players. 

With an excellent introduction by Jonathan Maberry and a Bonus Material section that includes a deleted scene and related script pages, artist pin-ups, cover gallery, concepts and designs, and most importantly, a detailed guide by Timson on his digital process, new readers and longtime fans cannot go wrong with this book.  Here's hoping that Top Cow will reunite Harms and Timson for the next phase of Impaler

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