|V-WARS No. 1, June 2014|
Any of the 10,460 collectors who bought this official ‘opening’ instalment of “V-Wars” in April 2014 thinking it was going to contain a slow steady exploration of the sudden overt (re)creation of vampires within modern-day society were most definitely in for a sharp sudden shock as a result of Jonathan Maberry’s brutally pacey narrative. For this issue dives straight in at the deep end, quickly continuing the dramatically bloody events of the title’s Free Comic Book Day edition and burying any opportunity for a peaceful solution to the epidemic within the space of a few pages.
Indeed, although the storyline continues to closely follow the exploits of Presidential advisor Luther Swann, it does so in a world already ravaged by a violent vicious all-out battle between mankind and the blood-drinking “terrorists”. As such there simply is no room for the reader to breathe as events quickly carry the “official vampire expert” into a war zone along with the rest of his combat squad.
For the ‘Doc’ is now to “Saddle up with the troops”, “stop trying to find ways to prevent a war” and instead “help us find a weakness that will end it.” What then follows is an absolute bloodbath as Gunnery Sergeant Nestor ‘Big Dog’ Wilcox leads his team into some wonderfully ferocious and gory firefights, chock full of buckets of blood, gruesome mutilations and even the occasional profanity.
Thankfully this carousel of horror does momentarily let up when Swann discovers that the "Blood" responsible for ‘popping' the Speaker of the House and starting the planet-wide genocide, was actually a human who “was following orders” because “a lot of very important and very dangerous people wanted this war to happen.” Such an incredibly valuable secret however was never going to be revealed to the general populace so soon into this series and so unsurprisingly within the space of a single panel the hitman, along with his thumb drive of damning data, is torn asunder by a hail of bullets.
All of this captivating carnage and grandiose blood-letting is marvellously drawn by Alan Robinson. The Chilean artist not only taps into the various mythological species of vampires to help populate Maberry’s new-found fanged world. But also manages to incorporate into his illustrations many a nod to other popular sources of horror. Such as Swann’s murderous little girl’s face mask and mental institution cell both replicating those of the psychopathic killer Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 motion picture “The Silence Of The Lambs”.
|The variant cover art of "V-WARS" No. 1 by Tony Vargas|