Review of REQUIEM: VAMPIRE KNIGHT graphic novel.
Collects RESURECTION and DANSE MACABRE stories.
Writer: Pat Mills
Art: Olivier Ledroit
From the godfather of British comics, Pat Mills, comes this frighteningly original and deliriously dark story about German officer, Heinrich’s horrific journey into a demonic afterlife filled with vampires, zombies, dark gods and mutants. Like something out of the sort of nightmares I get when I forget to take my medication, this comic blew my fucking mind with just how messed up it is!
Welcome to an Earth where time goes backwards, the oceans and land masses have swapped places and cruel vampires fight a constant bloody battle to enforce decadence and prevent change or progress. From the very beginning this book draws you into it’s debauched, frightening, often sickening and sometimes confusing world with it’s lavish painted artwork and mind bending extra dimensional concepts.
The book begins with Heinrich’s death on the Eastern Front in 1944 and sees him reawaken as a vampire in a hell dimension far stranger than any setting I’ve witnessed in any other piece of printed literature or film. He quickly meets, Otto Von Todt, a veteran vampire knight who introduces him to the dreadful dimension that he must now call his home and sets about initiating him into the order of knights tasked with enforcing the will of the ruling elite.
Filled with truly disturbing characters, set in a monumentally wicked society filled with murder, corruption, slavery, enormous battles between the vampire knights and all manner of demonic creatures and thanks in no small part to Ledroit’s incredibly striking and unsettling visual style, this is one of the most atmospheric comics I’ve ever read.
I’ve seen and read plenty of other vampire stories where being a vampire looks quite cool. Well not in this one it bloody doesn’t! Forced to drink the blood of disgusting creatures to survive and constantly at the mercy of depraved, sadistic beings, Heinrich despairs at his situation as he attempts to adapt and come to terms with the situation he now finds himself in.
As one of the founders of 2000ad, Pat Mills has been writing comics for a very long time and his experience and expertise shines like a super nova in this, the best thing I’ve read so far this year.
GO OUT AND BUY IT!
Review of EMINEM / PUNISHER: Kill You one-shot
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Art: Salvador Larroca
Yes you read right. It’s a Punisher/ Eminem crossover story. What’s next? Spiderman teams up with Ice Cube? Who knows, but if this travesty is the best they can come up with for a Marvel, hip hop collaboration then I seriously hope not.
I’m a Punisher completionist and when I first heard about this curiosity, I had to own it!
Now this comic is a real novelty. Even if I wasn’t such a big Punisher fan I’d still want to read it out of sheer curiosity, so I’m proud to have it in my collection. But Gods balls, it’s bad! And not in a funny way either.
Eminem’s path crosses with Franks, by accident when he goes after Barracuda outside one of Em’s gigs and it all just goes downhill from there. Turns out Marshal and ‘Cuda used to rap together in battles when they was both comin up in the ‘hood so they’re old mates or something. At one point Eminem beats Frank up, which made me sick to my ass. At least I realised it was some sort of alternate universe deal when Shady cuts off Cuda’s fingers (the same fingers Frank chops of in the MAX)
Honestly, I don’t really know what I was expecting. A bit of light hearted fun maybe, but all this comic did was get on my nerves. In it’s favour the art is good. The Punisher, Barracuda and all the action look good throughout and Marshal really does look like himself, but I just can’t forgive the ridiculous, rushed story and script.
The first half of this story was originaly printed in the pages of hip hop magazine XXL, then the second half was shown online before this promotional comic containing the entire story was released in very limited quantities, which explains why it’s so expensive. Anyone wanting a look could probably find it to read online somewhere and that’d be my advice.