i vampire 5 coverMary the Blood Queen and her vampire army have come to Gotham City and things look dire as they have set out to turn as many of its citizen into vampires as they can.  Andrew, Prof. John Troughton and Tig (who narrates this issue) finally make it to the city, but sense they are already too late.  While investigating a mass disappearance, Andrew finds himself in conflict with Batman, who falsely believes him to be responsible.  Andrew tries to reason with him and offers to work together but Batman… well, he’s kind of a butt head.  Andrew and his allies depart and he uses his psychic connection to Mary to discover her whereabouts, the Gotham City Court House.

In a beautifully rendered two-page spread, he surmises that they plan on housing the newly turned, crazed vampires in the holding cells below.  Once more they are confronted by Batman who has discerned Andrew’s true nature.  John tries reasoning with Batman, even though Batman thinks John is under Andrew’s thrall.  They form an uneasy alliance and descend to the lowest level of the Court House, where they are besieged by Mary’s army!

After the lack of first-person narration last issue, I was worried that writer Joshua Hale Fialkov had dropped the device, which made me sad.  So when Tig began her narrative this issue, I was delighted!   I very much enjoy the idea of this vampire war being waged within the DC Universe proper and after the guest appearance by John Constantine last issue, Batman makes the most logical choice for a cameo in this book.  Clearly, they are transitioning the super beings in slowly, going for ones that have the easiest fit into this book’s world.  I wonder if we’ll see more powerful beings like Superman or Wonder Woman in this book, and if so, how they will be handled.

The characters continue to develop nicely.  Tig rightfully has a vendetta against vampires and despite their current alliance, vows that one day she will behead Andrew.  Speaking of whom, Andrew is a charming yet flawed protagonist.  And I’m looking forward to seeing more of Mary next issue, as she’s been absent from the book for several issues now.

Andrea Sorrentino’s dark, slightly crude art style is a beautiful fit for this book!  And colorist Marcel Maiolo gives this nocturnal book a muted, washed out color palette accented by splashes of crimson blood and other warmer, sepia-like tones to offset it.  It works very effectively and the art and color combine into something that’s just lovely to look at!  I previously mentioned a two-page spread, set against a tapestry in the Court House that is very nice!

This is a unique series that I was delighted to read recently had been embraced by critics and has managed to stay afloat.  Before this book’s debut, many predicted it would last the shortest amount of time in the ‘New 52’ but I’m pleased that that wasn’t the case.  It has it’s own voice, individual look and is excellently executed all around.  It’s a strong addition to DC’s roster and I hope they see that and continue to nurture this book and the talent behind it.

Verdict: Buy

I, VAMPIRE #5
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Cover by Jenny Frison