Thursday, May 1, 2014
"Everyone carries the potential for vampirism. No one is exempt. No one is innocent. We're all in hell."
One of the numerous disaster scenarios that literature thrusts the future of humanity into is a war with vampires. The immortal race is presumed to have been living among humanity for centuries, deciding to arise for some reason in an effort to take the world from humans. IDW has their own, more political take on the action in V Wars #1. The issue is written by Jonathan Maberry, illustrated by Alan Robinson, colored by Jay Fotos and lettered by Robbie Robbins.
Profesor Swann is an academic with knowledge of vampires. When most of his family is attacked, his world is rocked and he's brought in to help the government deal with what's looking to be a vampire threat. That threat is further bolstered by a shot heard round the world; one that thrusts the world into a massive civil war. Swann seems to be the key to both sides and bringing about peace, but he'll be forced to do it in the face of an abundance of violence on both sides.
While V Wars #1 doesn't exactly tread new ground, Maberry does manage to offer up Swann as something of a play for both sides. The story boils down to a civil war between humans and vampires, but Swann learns there's a lot more to it than just that. There are seemingly higher powers at play that want the war to happen for whatever reason, which is something Maberry will likely reveal down the road. Swann himself comes across as a little wishy-washy throughout the course of the book. He seems peaceful enough and wants the war to end, but he's sort of shuffled from scene to scene more as a key character than anything else. His inclusion in some scenes seems a little forced and his role in the grander scheme of the book still seems a little fuzzy.
There's a lot of human on vampire violence and Robinson offers up enough distinction between the two where the reader doesn't get lost amidst all the action. Characters come across as very formal and defined, while some have a varied range of rather strange facial expressions. Most of the art focuses on the character(s) getting the story action at the time, which leaves little attention paid to the background or setting itself. The book is pretty violent as well and Robinson handles those scenes pretty well; the rather gruesome assassination of a presumed major player looks convincing enough to the reader. There's an abundance of inset panels which makes many of the pages sort of feel as if the panels are thrown onto the page for the reader to see.
V Wars #1 is a book that offers a rather familiar story; vampires and humans are on the brink of civil war and some incendiary action sets off that war. Swann is the linchpin for both side (whether he likes it or not) and most of the story is channeled through his involvement with the action. Maberry offers up the typical grander social questions that are masked in the seemingly base combat and Swann is quickly learning there's so much more to the war than it's letting on. Robinson does a good job with the illustrations, despite some characters offering slightly confusing facial expressions at what would seem to be awkward times. V Wars #1 isn't really anything new, but fans of vampire/human war relations will be interested in checking it out.
V Wars #1 is available now with interiors below.