Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Review: I, Vampire #8
I, Vampire #8 By Fialkov / Sorrentino
This issue brings a close to I, Vampire's first real crossover - the four part arc 'Rise of the Vampires'. Despite its short length RotV managed to bring with it a palpable sense of impact, and a highly unexpected change of direction for the series. Although I was hesitant about picking up Justice League: Dark in order to understand the storyline it managed to impress me - Peter Milligan has created an intriguing cast of characters and although Daniel Sampere's pencils failed to bring the sort of atmosphere that Andrea Sorrentino excels at, they managed to hold up their end of the story in style.
Andrew Bennet's return from the dead in the crossover's previous issue was perhaps a little predictable, and seemed to herald a triumphant vanquishing of the vampire forces that Bennet has opposed since the series' début issue. It does seem however that I didn't give Joshua Hale Fialkov nearly enough credit, as this issue brought with it a twist that came right out of left field, without seeming forced or inconsistent with previous events. Bennet's defection to the side of the vampires initially seems a rejection of everything that made his character so interesting, particularly given the apparent reignition of his relationship with former partner and current arch-villain, Mary. To his credit though, Hale Fialkov did manage to convince me with the rest of the issue that it was a twist that not only made some twisted sense, but was more than worth persevering with.
In truth, this issue is more composed of exposition than much of the action that it promised, but it is told in predictably captivating fashion by Andrea Sorrentino, whose ethereal style continues to be the perfect fit for Fialkov's story. Although Daniel Sampere's pencils on the Justice League: Dark segments of the crossover were perfectly adequate, Sorrentino's work feels very much like a return to form for the story.
I, Vampire's new direction may not be one that everyone will agree with, and it certainly seems to go against much of what made the books opening arc such a delight. What it does show however, is a welcome unpredictability and a willingness on Fialkov's part to go against the grain. Whether it will be a success is not immediately clear, but this issue certainly serves as both an entertaining wrap up to a solid crossover, and a mouthwatering set up for the series' new direction.