Five months between issues is a long time to wait between any “monthly” comic book series, especially between the first and second issue, but Day Men #2 is finally here. Was it worth the wait? Is it good?
Day Men #2 (Boom! Studios)
Can we just take a moment to recognize how weird it is that Day Men was optioned for film rights by Universal after Boom! Studios only released one issue? Perhaps Hollywood is still convinced that, due to the success of Twilight, True Blood, and the like, that vampires are “hot right now” (although let’s be real, vampires have pretty much always been hot since at least 1897), so producers are still hungry for any IP that they could take. Or, less cynically, it’s entirely possible that Universal genuinely saw potential for a vampire story with a crime twist to appeal to audiences growing weary of vampire fiction.
Day Men #1 certainly did show potential, even if the issue itself failed to live up to its considerable hype. I don’t know of any other stories within the vampire sub-genre that focus on the human lackeys that do their undead masters’ dirty work as the sun still shines.
Unfortunately, Day Men #2 does little to build upon that potential. Day Men creator and Boom! Studios Editor in Chief co-writes with Michael Alan Nelson, and together they’ve crafted an issue that is too heavy in exposition and too light on forward momentum. Room is made for some exciting action sequences, but the chapter as a whole is brought down by extensive scenes of expository and relatively dull dialogue. It’s understandable that Gagnon and Nelson would want to take the time to introduce more characters, establish their relationships with one another, and set up the pieces for a larger plot, though I don’t see why they felt the writers felt the need to squeeze so much into one issue.
It’s a shame, because the world of Day Men is interesting enough that had Gagnon and Nelson pulled back, slowed down to so that information to be revealed more naturally over a longer course of time, and allowed more questions to remain unanswered for the time being, readers could still be enthralled enough by the premises and characters that they would forgive the writers for leaving them in the dark (no pun intended). Matt Gagnon and Michael Alan Nelson aren’t bad writers (I’m particularly impressed and intimidated by Gagnon’s ability to display such creativity while still running an entire company), but perhaps they lack confidence.
There’s no lack of confidence in artist Brian Stelfreeze, though. He’s been the main selling point of this series since it was first announced, and for good reason. His work doesn’t have an immediate “wow” factor like Alex Ross or J.H Williams III, but upon actually reading the issue Stelfreeze’s expertise as a sequential artist quickly becomes apparent. Everything, from his body language, to his framing, to his action sequences, to his inking…you get the idea—it all just works. Colorist Darrin Moore deserves a great deal of credit too for his smooth, deliberate color palette.
Day Men isn’t a bad series, but it perhaps it needs more time to find its footing. The strength of its premise and the talent of its creative team are enough to convince me to give it another chance next issue, but hopefully it evolves into the great series that I think it can be sooner than later.
- Brian Stelfreeze
- Exciting action sequences
- Promising concept
Is It Good?
Day Men #2 disappoints as an individual issue, but there’s enough good stuff here to give reason for patient readers to come back for more.