Sunday, 17 May 2015

V-Wars #0 - IDW Publishing

V-WARS No. 0, May 2014
Based upon Jonathan Maberry’s prose anthology of “a world where an ancient virus has brought the vampire population back”, this comic book adaption of “V-Wars” thoroughly warrants its “suggested for mature readers” cover warning. For the American author’s version of a Nosferatu is far more akin to one of the brain-hungry zombies conjured up by filmmaker George A. Romero than the civilised blood drinkers depicted by the likes of writer Anne Rice. Indeed these unnatural predators have seldom been shown as such aggressive and ferocious ‘creatures of the night’, throwing petrol bombs, blazing away with automatic weapons and ripping the limbs off of hapless victims all in order to momentarily abate their “unstoppable hunger.”

As introductory issues go therefore this "Free Comic Book Day" first printing is an action-packed gore-fest, even if it does disappointingly conclude after just twelve-pages. Straight from the start the multiple Bram Stoker Award-winner hurls the reader into the middle of a grotesquely ugly firefight between Special Operations field team Victor 8 and a truly fearsome horde of rioting vampires. Cars are casually overturned by the demonic creatures, assault rifles flatten the Undead with swathes of lead, and a Charlie Chu-Chu Chicken restaurant proves a deadly trap for at least one special forces soldier within the space of just a couple of heartbeats.

Besides giving it to any bibliophile with ‘both barrels’, Maberry’s storytelling technique of events following closely in the footsteps of Presidential advisor Luther Swann, Ph.D. is equally as inspired. The genuine horror captured within the man’s haunted eyes and the mild-mannered academic’s eventual breakdown into committing an unspeakably violent act himself, really helps drive home just how utterly terrifying a place the modern day world has become in just 212 days thanks to the triggering of long dormant genes found within our junk DNA.

Alan Robinson’s artwork stunningly captures all the tension and dynamic action of the plot with a detailed but clean style which proves infinitely more pleasing than that of cover artist Kevin Eastman. The Chilean illustrator appears especially adept at conveying his character’s thoughts on their troubled faces, and his wonderfully animated ghoulish-looking vampires hold more than a passing resemblance to the drawings of noted “Preacher” sketcher Steve Dillon.
Origin of Communication: Jonathan Maberry, and Visual Reference: Alan Robinson


  1. Wow! Simon, you really surprised me with this review because I never expected you to get into this series. It probably won't surprise you at all that I am a huge fan of V-Wars. I subscribe to the comic every month and I have the first two prose novels. I am also a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry. He actually left a few lovely comments on my blog after I had favourably reviewed some of his novels, so that made me appreciate him even more. It is not often an author takes time out to write to his fans. Believe me, the comic series is well worth reading. Your review was bang on the mark. Much respect!

    1. I might have surprised you Bryan, but this comic certainly surprised me. It was not what I was anticipating at all!! Though that's the great thing about "Free Comic Book Day" - even if in the UK we still have to pay £1 for then. The publishers print these one-shot introductory issues which show us what we're missing. I have ordered #1 to #5 to see whether I like them. But if they're anything like this one, then I'll be in for the long ride. Indeed this is precisely what I think "The Walking Dead" should be like... character-based but with lots of action and excitement at the same time. Cracking read and so glad you enjoyed and agreed with my review. More to come I assure you :-)

    2. Quote, "More to come I assure you." Yay! I'm so pleased to hear that.

    3. You're perfectly welcome, Bryan... though I did need to sit down and read a back issue of "Tomb Of Dracula" afterwards just to reassure myself that vampires do still just nip at the neck occasionally :-)