Monday, 26 March 2018

V-Wars #3 - IDW Publishing

V-WARS No. 3, June 2014
As the “War between Bloods (vampires) and Beasts (humans) continues to escalate” the plot to Issue Three of “V-Wars” most probably struck its dwindling 5,866 readership as a fairly run-of-the-mill tale which focused upon the “under-manned” Vampire Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Field Team Victor Eight obtaining a new member in the form of twenty-five year-old Corporal Taurus Harper. Indeed, almost the entirety of Jonathan Maberry’s narrative for “A Puppy And A Picture Of His Kid” dwells upon the National Guardsman heroically fighting off all manner of vampires, whether they be gun-toting rioters at the Saint Thomas Housing Project in Brooklyn, or super-strong ghoulish “Middle-Eastern monsters”, in order for the “Newbie” to successfully become accepted by his team-mates; “We don’t have a learning curve. Genghis and Zman are going to kick your ass. Try not to let them. Show us you deserve to run with our pack.” The “New York Times bestselling author” even throws in a few sedentary barroom scenes between the “killer with a heart” and Luther Swann so as to help promote the “real soldier” to his audience and firmly establish that he isn’t simply “a gung-ho kind of guy.”

However, all of this multi-layered character development and exposition is shockingly spun upon its head with the turn of this publication’s final page, as the “magazine feature writer” stunningly has the “one-man wrecking crew” remove a set of fake teeth so as to expose pointed canines and his triumphant infiltration of Big Dog’s squad on behalf of the Crimson Queen. This revelation, which wonderfully comes completely out of the blue, genuinely makes this comic worth perusing a second time, if only to see just how very clever the Bloods have been in engineering the kill-team’s penetration and perhaps to reinterpret Taurus’ haunted looks at the dead Edimmu he recently killed as not being a man upset at senseless slaughter, but actually as a Vampire distraught at the slaying of his own brethren…

Of course in hindsight, Harper’s subterfuge could arguably be seen in Alan Robinson’s excellent pencilling. For whilst the vast majority of this book’s cast are healthily drawn, with square jaws, strong necks and well-filled clothing, the Chilean artist instead illustrates the man who has supposedly “acted in the best traditions of the National Guard” as a gaunt, overly thin figure, whose ill-fitting uniform consistently appears a few sizes too large, and yet still (inexplicably) appears to be more physically robust than his bigger comrades.

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
The regular cover art of "V-WARS" No. 3 by Ryan Brown

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