American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #1
Huzzah, a new “American Vampire” miniseries, written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen. Somehow, I’d missed that this was coming out, so it ended up being a nice surprise on my pull-list last week.
It’s 1954, and Agent Hobbes of the vampire-hunting Vassals of the Morning Star meets up with an irritating American tourist named Tommy Glass, who actually knows a heck of a lot more about vampires than he should. In fact, he knows about something mysterious and terrible that the Vassals keep locked up somewhere very safe, and he has a well-thought-out plan to set it free. The resulting disaster forces Hobbes to travel to Paris to seek the assistance of former agent and half-vampire Felicia Book. What’s the new threat facing the world? And do Hobbes and Book have any chance of stopping it?
Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderful writing and art, of course, with an interesting and off-kilter villain in Tommy Glass and an even more interesting one teased at the cliffhanger. I’m now looking forward to this one quite a bit…
Batgirl lays some smackdown on some low-rent car thieves targeting the parking garage in a building hosting a fancy black-tie society gathering. But the last thief ends up stepping in a bear trap someone left outside a doorway. The event security shows up and take the thief into custody. And what’s the black-tie event about? A wealthy debutante named Charise Carnes is hosting a fundraiser to help clean up Gotham, and Lois Lane is on hand to quiz her about her project — and about the rumors about her involvement in the deaths of her family years ago. Carnes was cleared of the crime, but one suspects she may be less than innocent, what with the man she has hidden away and chained in a cage, and what with Batgirl’s discovery that the bear-trap victim is still being held in the building, with his leg cut off, and what with the fact that her bodyguards are all costumed super-criminals. Can Batgirl face all of them down?
Verdict: Thumbs up. While the identities of the villains were pretty obvious from their first appearances — and who on earth has event security wear formal dresses to an event? — I really enjoyed this issue a lot. Batgirl was a lot more competent than she’s previously been depicted, and the villains, calling themselves the Disgraced, are all plenty fun, with interesting motivations.
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #10
After an attack by giant insects, S.H.A.D.E. determines that one of its undercover agents — Crowly, stationed in Untropolis, a quasi-interdimensional, monster-filled sister-city of Metropolis — may have been responsible for the incident. Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos are dispatched through the deadly border between dimensions. Can they track Crowly, apprehend her, and find out what’s going on?
Verdict: Thumbs up. The action is pretty good, Frank’s dialogue is great (the rest of the characters are honestly a bit drab), and the graphics for Untropolis are quite fun, but what I really enjoyed this for was the mystery of what kind of strange visions Frankenstein is having. Are they about his past? Or is this something altogether different? I’m mystified by it, but still enjoying it.
Today’s Cool Links:
- The Hero Initiative is seeking donations to help cover the funeral expenses for Robert Washington III, late writer of “Static,” “Shadow Cabinet,” and other comics.
- That crazy lawyer who hates the Oatmeal still hates the Oatmeal and is still really, really crazy.
- Because he just won’t stop drawing, here are 40 more of the worst Rob Liefeld drawings.