Review | I, Vampire #1

The cover does this little justice. Sexy, shirtless vampires with six-packs and streaks in their hair suggest that DC is riding the capetails of Twilight. Inside, it's a far darker affair. Stephenie Meyer writes bloodless soaps, dime romance with slightly elongated incisors. However, in the first pages of I, Vampire, a stake plunges through a sternum and an ax lops off a head. The action is depicted in a muddy chiaroscuro by Andrea Sorrentino, who brings to mind Jae Lee and his inky, gothic shapes. Thank Danzig, these therianthropic nosferatu are closer to the Murnau end of spectrum than the Meyer end. They morph into wolves, bats and, it seems, varying human forms. Basically, they're werewolves and vampires (and on one dramatic page, zombies) rolled into one, which at least spares us a tired battle between vampires and lycans.

No, these vamps are at war with each other, ex-lovers leading hawk and dove factions, as if Professor X and Magneto were old lovers. Now the old beau, alone with woodcutting tools in hand, is up against a queen bent on wiping out inferior humans. Just to be sure, we are in the DCU, as Our Hero warns his girl, "You think you and your army stand a chance against Superman and a half-dozen Green Lanterns?" Meaning the piles of bodies could spill over into more spandexy pages. The exposition nicely jumps between past and present, and 400 years of back story is teasingly hinted at.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)