Reviews

Review: The New Deadwardians

The question of vampire versus zombies is a regular debate among genre fans. I have no preference for a victor in the situation either way.  As long as I get to see the fray, I’m fine with whatever the outcome is. While this is an often talked about topic among the horror community, it is seldom put into practice within the horror craft.

Vertigo, however, has now launched their fourth new series this month with precisely that kind of story for us readers.

The New Deadwardians is a peculiar book. It has a lot of melding of genres within its panels – be it mystery, family drama, horror or action.  There’s a lot to chew on here. And while we may only get a little bit of a vampire/zombie feud in this first issue, it would appear that we’re being built up to a boiling point of the conflict between the two dead parties.

I’m quite fond of the style this book has taken. Dan Abnett has crafted a unique vision of an alternative Post-Victorian England with a lot of possible places for this story to spread to. The main thing that is quite remarkable about his writing is how he has taken a character, a vampire policeman living in 1910 England, who should not be empathetic in the least, and making him a unique and relatable character for the reader. George Suttle is as interesting a protagonist as you can be introduced to in a first issue.

The art, while plain looking, still works to the effect of the tone of the book. The story wants to convey to us as readers that all the events, while otherworldly to our own minds, is very much natural and the real world for its inhabitants. I.N.J. Culbard’s use of simple looking art highlights this story point, but his attention to detail and ability to make the actions flow from panel to panel are what really make the comic’s art worth looking at. Plus his use of gore and depictions of zombies, while only brief in this issue, show promise of grade-A artwork when the story reaches a boiling point.

Myself, and it seems a lot of people, like the idea of a finite series. Knowing that something is over and that you can digest it all is a good feeling, so when I say this series has an end point I mean it. This issue is the first of eight, and I’m hoping it’ll end up being the first volume for the series, but I’m getting ahead of myself. The plot here is something very clever indeed.  And since this is a mini, I’m expecting the author to already have an ending planned and not wing it when they get there.

As far as mini-series goes, this is a good first issue. The explanation of the story and introductions of the characters are executed well and its flow is never interrupted by sloppy storytelling. Also, with an end date in site it only makes me more impatient for the next issue because I want to see what happens next. Don’t get it in your head that you should just wait for the trade for this one. This is the kind of serialized mystery story that your life has been missing.