Review - RIP #1

Some people like ninjas. Others are big zombie fans. For my money badass vampires always take the cake. With that in mind let us discuss a new title called RIP #1 from Black Snake Studios. Before getting into the story though I’d like to lead off with a technical point. 100% of the profits generated from this book are going to the National Foundation for Cancer Research. I think this is a wonderful thing and if any of you reading this review agree that is another thing that you should be aware of if it sounds interesting to you. I think this title would be a worthy investment even if that WEREN’T the case, but given that it is pay special attention when you come across it in stores. The story is written by Joseph Pais with art by Cristhian Zamora. While the base story is very typical, there are subtle things being done here that make it a familiar and still enjoyable book. There is a new evil descending on the planet and the hand of death is going to wipe humanity away leaving the world for immortals. RIP, Chet and Anaya are our heroes working to fight this plot. The artwork is intriguing as it is black and white with the only color being shades of red. As you would expect for a vampire book, most of the red shows up in the form of blood but there are other splashes of it throughout that work really well. Interested so far? Read on for a brief story recap. The book opens with RIP rather brutally interrogating a captured vampire named Jacob Clay. What information is learned? Let me see if I can sum this up as there was only one major learning point: circular saws with silver lined blades prevent vampires from regenerating and they bleed out. Let your imagination run wild with what might actually have transpired. We also learn that RIP is a fan of identity theft, becoming Mr. Clay but staying a cold and messed up guy. Back upstairs Chet and RIP are going through various papers the vampire had on him that lead them to a restaurant where a vampire named Drake is staying. RIP is searching for people that have been missing for some time, one of those being his wife who he hasn’t seen in two years. RIP (using the name Jacob Clay) and a woman named Anaya go to visit a man named Drake at the restaurant. More bloodshed ensues, and it appears that RIP has an injection that will allow him to go into a berserker-like trance so that he can go toe to toe with vampires while still being human. Anaya, is a vampire, and her motives for fighting her own kind are unclear. Things end poorly for Drake but they get an address to continue their search. Next we are treated to a flashback where RIP and Chet were very close to finding the missing people. It appears that RIP was captured and tortured by a vampire named Memphis. Anaya and RIP go to the building and meet up with a group of vampires and Memphis. While the fodder goes down in a rather epic bloodbath of a fight, Memphis gets the better of RIP and pretty much DDTs him into the pavement. They are spared by a mysterious figure known only as Krishna and Anaya practically carries RIP out. At some point in the fight she obtained a USB drive with a video on it of Danielle injecting herself with a mysterious serum. This issue ends with RIP putting his fist through the screen in despair over his wife’s supposed demise. This issue did a better job than most about making me CARE about the main character immediately. He has been tortured, his wife has been kidnapped and now he is searching for her and paying back the people responsible. Anaya is intriguing as a vampire in love with Clay, who is fighting her own kind. RIP refuses to let her turn him to take away his pain. The villains seem pretty evil and strong. I also love the Sin City-esque feel of the black and white art. It is something not done often and so helps this comic to stand apart. While the story is a little cliché it is well written and the pacing is good. My only real gripe is that the word bubbles are REALLY awkwardly placed at times. I found myself having to read panels two or three times just to get the words in order. Overall, it was limited to just a few panels so it is a pretty minor gripe. I’m looking forward to seeing how this series progresses. It is almost Blade in reverse, where the main helper is a vampire but the hero is a human using a vampire serum to be able to fight at vampire’s heightened level. Pick this one up now digitally if you like vampires at all and you’ll both help a good cause and get a quality comic as a bonus.