When DC first announced the New 52, the fan community had a number of burning questions. Among them: “What on Earth is this ‘I, Vampire’ and why is it being published?” Even with the awesomely eclectic collection of ‘Dark’ titles DC announced alongside it, I think I, Vampire stood out to people as a particularly odd addition to the new DC Universe. Initially, I wasn’t sure what to make of it either, but once I read writer Joshua Fialkov’s excellent crime-thriller Tumor, it jumped up on my list of titles to get excited for. And I have to say: it was worth the excitement and the confusion. I, Vampire #1 is an excellent new book.
In the early 1980s, J.M. DeMatteis and Tom Sutton created I… Vampire as a back-up in House of Mystery, one that briefly became very popular but then faded into obscurity as the supernatural became less and less in demand. It followed Andrew Bennett, a vampire whose former lover was waging a war on humanity, as he tried to undo the mistake he made when he turned her into his kind. It’s a powerful concept, and one that Fialkov and Sorrentino borrow from heavily in this new book.
Andrew is one of the most powerful vampires in the world. Mary is one of the most vicious. They were once in love, but now they’re driven apart by a bloody conflict engineered by Mary herself. The book follows two separate story threads. In the past, Mary tried to convince Andrew to join her, while Andrew tries to talk her out of it. In the present, Andrew is forced to confront Mary’s bloody revolution for vampire independence, and decides to fight it – no matter what the cost.
With lush, gorgeous art by Andrea Sorrentino (and respect given to Marcelo Maiolo, who does fantastic work coloring Sorrentino’s art) and a striking premise, Fialkov has turned in one of the stronger openings for the New 52. I, Vampire #1 is a beautiful book that defies your expectations at every turn. Ignoring the bombast, the horror and the action that have defined many relaunch titles, it’s an exciting, understated character piece, one that will leave you clamoring for more.