In an interesting twist, the second issue of ‘I, Vampire’ is narrated by Mary, Queen of Blood, the books antagonist, queen of the vampire army and former lover of Andrew, the book’s protagonist. ‘I, Vampire’ #1 flashed backward and forward through time, showing the dissolution of the couple’s romantic relationship and culminated in Andrew being attacked by Mary’s army.
The second book is told parallel to the latter portion. The Queen starts her day with a “healthy breakfast,” before rousing her army with a compelling speech and then sends them on their mission. Andrew has unwittingly caused the slaughter of hundreds of humans and is now battling the vampires… and doing an excellent job of cutting them down, to the point that Mary must enter the fray herself. Mary knows her troops are no match for Andrew, but she orders them to kill him anyway and departs.
Mary is a compelling villain and I’m glad Fialkov chose this technique of alternating the point of view of the book between issues. I don’t know if this will continue, but if so, it’s an interesting twist. Mary falls in line with Magneto and villains like that, who don’t view themselves as villains, but liberators and freedom fighters. She wants to conquer the world because she feels they deserve it. About humans, she proclaims “They are nothing but food!”
With their age, Mary and Andrew are shown as being vastly more powerful and skilled than the majority of the other vampires. Andrew shape-shifts with a deftness and quickness that makes it nearly impossible for any of the others to even touch, much less harm him. It still isn’t revealed why, after centuries, Andrew has suddenly taken the side of humans versus his own kind, other than kindness.
The artwork by Andrea Sorrentino is gorgeously ugly, if that makes sense. It would never fit a mainstream super hero book, but it’s perfect for this Gothic vampire tale. It’s lush at times, stark at others. The color pallet, provided by Marcelo Maiolo, is suitably drab and dark. Sorrentino’s story telling is dramatic and compelling. He employs this one particularly cool technique, where he limits almost every page to four or five horizontal panels, giving it a widescreen movie flow. Then when he changes up the layout, the importance of the depicted actions comes across stronger. Of course the full-page splashes are the most important images in the book. Very cool!
I take a bit of issue with the cover. It’s too pretty! It looks nothing like the artwork inside. Maybe it’s pretty and painted to attract female readers? It’s one of the most ill-matching covers I’ve seen lately, though.
I’m not sure who this book is for. My initial reaction was that DC was going after the ‘Twilight’ and ‘True Blood’ market, i.e. women. The thing is, this book isn’t like either of those two properties. It’s not a sweeping love story like ‘Twilight.’ The romance in this book is over. And it isn’t as frothy and sexy as ‘True Blood.’ But ‘I, Vampire’ is still good! I think fans of horror comics or those that want an alternative to super heroes could easily enjoy it. I was surprised by how much I like it. It’s still evolving and I don’t passionately love it, but it’s certainly good enough for me to keep reading.
I, VAMPIRE #2
Written by Jonathan Hale Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Cover by Jenny Frison