I, Vampire #3 by Fialkov/ Sorrentino
It would be easy to accuse I, Vampire of pandering to the current, Twilight inspired trend for romance inspired horror stories. Indeed, Joshua Hale Fialkov's story ticks all the boxes - starcrossed lovers, a likable, heroic vampire as protagonist and an all new take on a monster that has been terrorising readers across the globe for decades - the vampire. That is not to say that I, Vampire bears any resemblance to Stephanie Meyer's ubiquitous series. Although it is just three issues in, Fialkov looks to be sowing the seeds for an epic, character driven story, complimented of course by lashings of blood and violence.
Lesser known writer Fialkov has a measured, almost ponderous style that could easily be mistaken for decompression - it is not. It's true that this series has been slow so far, and also that this issue has little in the way of plot. This is, however a beautifully told story that is unfolding in a naturalistic way. Far from shooting his load with cheap thrills and plot devices in the opening issues Fialkov is gradually building his universe from the ground up. Andrew Bennet is an engaging protagonist, while arch-foe and former lover Mary is becoming an enigmatic and fearsome adversary. This issue also does a good job of introducing something of a supporting cast for Bennet, giving the reader enough information to intrigue without ever coming across as heavy handed.
Although Fialkov's writing is pitch perfect for this series, it is matched by his artist, the equally lesser known Andrea Sorrentino. The comparisons to Jae Lee are obvious, but also fair - Sorrentino's gloomy, shadow heavy style is very similar and is a perfect fit for this series, lending a dark atmosphere to its narrative.
I, Vampire was hardly one of the more heralded of D.C's new 52, but is shaping up to be one of the brightest new books around. Joshua Hale Fialkov's script is subtle but laden with hooks, and is subtly woven into the wider D.C Universe. Complimented by superb art, it is not hyperbole to call this one of the most beautifully produced comic books on the market at the moment. I only hope that it gets the sales figures that it so richly deserves.