Last issue, George Suttle’s investigation was nearly ended when he was surrounded by anti-Young (vampire) thugs in Zone-B the area of London that is home to ordinary humans (the middle and lower class). Suttle is doing a fine job of standing up for himself– and for the first time, referencing the power that vampires posses in this world– when his driver, Bowes rushes in and threatens the men, driving them away. This is interesting because last issue, Bowes made some anti-vampire remarks himself. The pair adjourn to a tea room to gather themselves and Suttle admits that visiting Zone-B has reinvogorated him. It seems that vampires don’t typically want anything. They don’t have passions or desires. He informs Bowes that their lead is an artist named Pretendleby, who was somehow affiliated with Hinchcliffe, the Young victim whose mutilated corpse was discovered in issue #1. Bowes replies, “Is that quite right, sir? A real name?” (No.)
Suttle then spies Sapphire, the prostitute he spoke with last issue. She flirts with him incredibly and invites him back to visit her again.
Back at Scotland Yard, the police chief pressures Suttle to close the case, but Suttle refuses to cut corners and insists on a proper investigation. The Chief points out that “The streets are full of bright protestors and the papers are full of anti-Young sentiments. The last thing we need is a bloody scandal about some privileged sort who couldn’t keep his thirst to himself.” He then tells Suttle he wants him to go to the Hinchcliffe estate and tell his wife that she can’t yet have his body until the investigation is closed. Suttle insists that Bowes serve as his driver.
Suttle’s mother is unhappy about his trip. His maid, Louisa is having problems from being turned into a Young after she was bitten by a Restless (zombie). She isn’t adapting to being a vampire very well.
The next morning, Suttle and Bowes leave the confines and safety of London for the area where zombies roam unchecked. Bowes asks Suttle about the war and when he was turned. Suttle tells him all about it, including how he wound up killing his own men after they became Restless. (Only officers were turned into Young, a process that seems more scientific here than in most accounts.) Suttle also insist that the Restless are somehow scientifically explainable.
Once again, this is a very enjoyable series. This particular issue doesn’t stand on its own, though. Definitely start at the beginning. Also, not a lot of headway is made in regard to the murder investigation, but we do get a lot of back story on the Young’s history and some development of George, Bowes and even Sapphire. I think that’s what is so refreshing about this book. You don’t get a huge information dump explaining everything all at once in the first issue. The story– the past and the present– are presented slowly over the course of the series. There’s very little action. Instead the world is fleshed out as two men have tea or drive to the country. It’s so different from every other book out there, even the other supernatural books. It’s refined and smooth.
George Suttle is not like any other lead in comics. He’s not sexy or brooding. He’s kind of a dry, stuffy every man. He cares for his elderly mother and adheres to the rules of a proper society. He is devoted to doing his job as perfectly and by-the-numbers as possible. Once more a refreshing twist in an era when heroes are usually anti-heroes or bad boys.
Oh and I can’t forget to credit I.N.J. Culbard, whose simple clean lines perfectly capture this proper setting. It’s not showy or flashy and it shouldn’t be. It’s simply the perfect fit for the tone of the story.
This book is a nice break from all that stuff that kind of runs together. (Who’s winning right now? The X-Men or the Avengers?) I highly recommend this book! It’s just so… different! If nothing else, it’s the perfect pallet-cleanser. Grab your weekly stack and stick this book at the bottom, to read last. It’s the perfect refreshing change of pace you’ll need.
THE NEW DEADWARDINS #4
Written by Dan Abnett
Art and Cover by I.N.J. Culbard