Off the Shelf: V-Wars Volume 1

vwars vol1Publication 411: TBP of the first five issues of the V-Wars series. Scheduled for publication by IDW on 10/28/2014.

Story: We have met the enemy, and he is infected with the ICE virus.  Y’know the virus that turns people into…no, not that.  Into vampires.  But not all vamps — or Bloods, as they prefer to be called — have it in for us Beats (heartbeats, living folks).  Problem is, peace is not the answer for some folks.  The assassination of a politician rallying for peace starts the war all over again.  But not all war-mongers have fangs….  *cue ominous music*

Thoughts: Loved Maberry’s Patient Zero, so I was curious to see how he’d deal with vamps.  Out of the gate, Volume 1 starts so suddenly that I thought I’d downloaded my copy incorrectly and missed a few pages.  But after a few pages the splash page makes itself known, and then things settle in.  What’s cool about these bloodsuckers?  Mutation.  The ICE virus has particular strains, like any other virus.  This makes it a crapshoot as to what strain you’ll get, and what you’ll become, should you get infected, from insane zombie to Bloods that can “pass”.  Think of this like an all-out war version of Kindred: The Embraced.  As with other mutant/monster stories, this focuses on the idea that destroying the monsters may be less about survival than it is about removing The Other from the world.

Alan Robinson does the art duties here, and he literally paints the town red.  Colors are nice and sharp, but not particularly eerie.  Then again this is more of a thriller/mystery/action joint starring vamps as it is a straight-out horror show.  So maybe eerie isn’t exactly the way to go 100% of the time.  Bonus points to Robinson for the vamp wearing a Primus t-shirt, and for page 85, with it’s Exorcist imagery.  I heart that panel so hard.

The three characters I’m really interested in are Senator Maria Giroux (D-LA) leader of the politicos looking into the V-8 team’s actions (and someone who I’m betting knows a whole lot more than she’s letting on).  Taurus, a newbie to the V-8 military unit, and the guy everyone things won’t make it past the weekend.  And Yuki Nitobe, a reporter “embedded with the Bloods”, who gets a look at exactly who the monsters are in and out of the Bloods.  Sure, Luther Swann, the professor-turned-military-consultant is the lead in this story, but those three are my top three.  And for keeping things easy to follow, bonus points for a panel on page 11 that shows the entire “V-8” team, along with Who’s Who info boxes!

Nutshell:  V-Wars feels like something I’ve read before, and that’s probably because I was a huge fan of Kindred.  So seeing the same multi-vamp-verse gives me the happys.  There’s a little too much back-n-forth here, but as this is the first five issues of what I’m assuming will be a long run, I understand trying to make sure readers get that this will be a shades of grey story rather than the usual black-n-white. Just remember to tack on an “all the covers” appendix to V-Wars Volume 1 when it hits stores, and I’ll be a happy camper.  Covers that beautiful should be shown off.

 

 

(NOTE: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.)

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