Saturday, 8 September 2018

The Vampires Of Lower Bennett Street #2 - Markosia Enterprises

Despite perhaps somewhat precipitously moving away from its previous edition’s wonderfully atmospheric Seventeenth-Century shenanigans to a “futuristic and terrifying world [where] there are many questions to be asked”, Mike Lynch’s script for Issue Two of “The Vampires Of Lower Bennett Street” still must have provided its readership in July 2018 with plenty to enjoy with its hard-hitting physical violence and penchant for automatic weapons fire. Indeed, the sheer tempo of its plot, as Lazarus’ party easily overpowers Agent Grey’s ill-equipped small military force and finally escapes their centuries-long captivity arguably imbues this book with far more passion and pace than its forerunner.

Fortunately however, this series of frantic fire-fights involving the blood-drinkers “finally freed from their underground tomb” haven’t seemingly been penned simply for the sake of action, and add a lot of interest to this “new nightmare” as the long-time slumberers both discover and then explore their invulnerability to their enemies’ ineffective armaments; “Huhh? See! Their muskets have no effect upon us, strange as they are!” Such unexpected imperviousness really does bring out the viciousness of the vampires, with Martha in particular appearing to disconcertingly enjoy the fact that the firearms won’t harm her, but will quite easily blow the head clean off one of the soldiers she has just captured.

In addition, the West Irishman’s narrative also introduces the incredibly intriguing bat-headed sub-leader of this dark and twisted “totalitarian future”, whose vampiric abilities appear to have been enhanced with nano technology. Splendidly attired in the long black leather raiment of your typical fascist dictator, even down to his swastika-like motiffed red armband, this cold-hearted killer dominates every panel within which he appears, whether that be him matter-of-factly slaying one of his own men with a poison-laden syringe and subsequently ordering for the dead trooper’s head to be removed and body burnt, or simply informing Grey that he will soon undergo “the procedure” now his application to join the new breed of vampire’s order has been fruitful. 

Similarly as successful as Lynch’s narrative is Joe Campbell’s pencilling which packs plenty of panels with just the sort of intense pulse-pounding proceedings an audience would expect from a plot focusing upon “Lazarus and his vampire allies” battling against gas-mask wearing goons, hovering satellites, and state-of-the-art fighter planes. In fact the artist’s ability to represent the breath-taking speed with which some of this comic’s cast can move is one of this publication’s highlights, as his dynamically-etched blur-lines shockingly show just how outclassed the Demon Mother’s forces are when engaging this book’s titular characters in close combat.

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
Writer: Mike Lynch, and Artist: Joe Campbell

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