Vampire anything has completely over saturated the market. Most are the lovely dovey, tormented soul, brooding types. They lament their curse, trying to only feed on livestock or blood bags to remain ‘good’, not hurting humans (see Vampire Diaries). Andrew Bennett is different, somewhat. Unlike every other despondent vampire who feels the need to fall in love with a 16 year old high school girl, he has a different purpose; to kill his former lover, Mary Queen of Blood.
I, Vampire was part of DC’s new 52 relaunch back in September 2011. Scripted by Joshua Hale Fialkov and drawn by Andrea Sorrentino, this book showcased a creative team completely in sync. I, Vampire, or I… Vampire was originally created in 1981 by J. M. DeMatteis, and part of House of Mystery as a back up. Eventually, due to it’s popularity, it became the main feature of the book, much like Batman on Detective Comics before it. Both series, old and new, starred different incarnations of Andrew Bennett. In the original, he was much more a a Dracula archetype, but still had the same mission, kill his former lover. While the 1980’s version depicted him as an older man, the newer showed him younger, in his twenties. Both had the same shock of white hair. The origin for this is revealed in the zero issues.
What I loved about this series was the status quo, or lack there of. These were not DC staple characters, freeing Fialkov to do whatever he wanted. The first arc showed Bennett chasing down and fighting Mary, while gaining allies; an old vampire hunter named Professor John Troughton, and a girl named Tig, whose father was turned into a vampire. Tig was always a wildcard, reluctantly helping though she hated all vampires, including Andrew. To help bolster sales, a cross over took place in the second arc. Mary brought her army to Gotham City, opening the door for a Batman cameo. Thinking Andrew turned Mary, and killing him would kill her, Tig killed Andrew. Once again, proving there’s no status quo by killing the main character. This act however, freed the original vampire from hell, Cain. In a crossover with the members of Justice League Dark (a book that exists proving that anything with Justice League on it will sell), these magical heroes helped bring Andrew back to defeat Cain. This turned Andrew into the most powerful vampire, giving him control of the vampire army. The series continued on, changing several more times in interesting and creative ways that I don’t want to spoil here. I will say this, zombie vampire hunters.
After issue 13, Sorrentino was sadly taken off the book to help fix the horrible Green Arrow book with Jeff Lemire. I, Vampire really did suffer for it. The book had a style and feel that couldn’t be matched. The artists the followed tried to ape his style for a while before finally making it into something of their own. Sadly, it was too little, too late. Though critically acclaimed and fan loved, the series will end at issue 19. Fialkov was informed of this at issue 15, and was able to script appropriately, giving the series a proper, though truncated ending.
When they decided to release this series in a single collection in 2017 (seriously, DC’s trade collection depart is horrible), I will certainly pick it up. You can however, easily catch up on the series digitally on the cheap (about $0.99 / issue now). Next month is the final issue, and I am looking forward to seeing how it ends.
What’s your favorite vampire series? Sick of vampires? Comment or tweet! If you enjoyed what you read, please share!
For the record, I cringed when I wrote that title.