Last issue, everything changed, when the benevolent vampire lord Andrew Bennett erased the vampire curse from everyone, including his former lover/adversary, Mary the Blood Queen, save himself. Upon doing so, Andrew was overwhelmed and basically became more evil than Mary ever was, attacking and turning his young ally/enemy Tig, a self-professed vampire slayer.
This issue deals with the fallout from these events, with Mary wallowing in despair at having lost her vampire powers. We get a lengthy internal monologue as Mary strolls through New York, observing the difference in the experience as a human versus as a vampire. Things take a turn when she is attacked by a thug and she realizes that despite the loss of her powers, she still isn’t one to be messed with and it was her internal strength that really made her who she was. She gathers Troughton and they go after Andrew after she realizes where he’s gone.
We’re introduced to another past acquaintance of Andrew’s… one that may be in danger of losing their life at his and Tig’s fangs. Things have really been turned on their head!
This series was one of the best surprises of the New 52. No one thought it would succeed… until they read it, and it quickly became a critical darling. As with most books, however, we haven’t gotten a consistent run of excellent issues. The book has staggered here and there and has been saddled with a few clunky crossovers and had a few storylines that started to drag in places.
This issue simply feels fresh. It’s excellent! Mary, with her darker personality, seems to make for a more interesting protagonist than the stoic Andrew. She got a darker edge, but with this issue, she gets to reveal more of her personality than simply evil and power-hungry. Fittingly, becoming human makes her more humanized and we get a better feel for her perspective.
The idea of the once viruous Andrew being corrupted by power is also a fresh change of pace and hey, for once, he and Tig are on the same bloody page.
Every issue, I praise Andrea Sorrentino’s amazing art and it’s a solid here as it ever was.
A great kick off to a second year’s worth of stories. This may not be one of the biggest selling books out there, but it’s one of the smartest and most unique.
I, VAMPIRE #13
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Cover by Clayton Crain