“V-Wars” sounds a hell of a lot more likely than “World War Z” as far as a vampire war name the media might actually come up with, doesn’t it? That’s a good start for a series that’s focused on the media side of a vampire war, but is it good?
V-Wars #1 (IDW Publishing)
The writer of this book, Jonathan Maberry, has won multiple Bram Stoker awards, so we know he knows horror quite well. The book opens right in the thick of things too, at least for the protagonist, who is a vampire expert but was unfortunate enough to have his daughter eat his son and wife. Now he’s burying himself in work and wants to figure out the political mess that is vampires. He thinks they can coexist with humans, maybe partly because it’s understood the vampire gene is a recessive gene. Everyone has a bit of vampire in them, but only some have it turned on.
We open on the book with our protagonist in shambles.
Consider how important the 24 hour news cycle is in America these days and you’ll see why this comic is so well presented. Aside from the obvious news caster reporting throughout the issue, we also have characters talk about the need to get the messaging right to prevent a full scale war. It’s all about how you present the information, not necessarily the information itself. The fact that vampires exist isn’t as important as getting people calmed down and open to the idea of cohabitation. Of course that all hits the fan when the guy speaking about equality gets his brains blown out. The issue then goes into a co-op swat team and the war is in full effect.
The art is by Alan Robinson who, quite frankly, has stolen the talents of Gabriel Rodriguez quite nicely. Of course he’s done some covers for Locke & Key so it’s not like it’s not an obvious connection, but it’s almost uncanny how similar their styles are. It could be attributed to the inking, but it’s also the slightly cartoony look to the figures. The layouts tend to turn things a bit, almost too much, but the balance of medium, close up and establishing shots is nice. There’s a lot of drama to be had in the imagery.
Love the vampire bar vs. human bar.
Is It Good?
This is a good first issue that sets up the protagonist and world effectively. The media and governmental side of things is obviously the focus and it’s doing that right.