By: Jonathan Ross (writer), Tommy Lee Edwards (illustrator) & John Workman (letters)
The Story: In Prohibition Era New York City, a family of vampires move in on the mafia. Meanwhile, an alien crashes out near Coney Island.
What’s Good: Let’s start with the art. This is a good looking comic book! It’s the kind of thing that makes the rest of the comics in the stack look pretty pedestrian. Tommy Lee Edwards is a very talented artist and when you put good artists on titles that they own, care about, and have a financial interest in, you almost always get a “best effort.” Not only is the book beautiful without resorting to splash pages, but it is consistent! I didn’t see any bad panels where you think, “That guy is kinda funny looking!”
As for the story, I really enjoyed it too. Mobsters running booze – mixed with vampires – mixed with space aliens: How can you beat that combo? The story is really a mob tale that centers on one of the families controlling the bootlegging in NYC in early 1929. I’d probably enjoy this book if it was just a mob story, but when the new “family” that is muscling in on the action is a clan of vampires… Well,I just love me some wacky stuff. We do get to see the space alien (who is a bootlegger or sorts too), but it is pretty brief. I guess we’ll have to tune in for issue #2 to see that play out.
Ross also writes really well. Even though he is a celebrity-type in the UK and is a big comic book fan, I am 99% sure this is his first time serving as a writer and he does a great job. He also delivers a solid value: 26 pages and probably 100% more writing than is the norm for a $2.99 book.
What’s Not So Good: Just as I credited Ross, he does commit a common mistake of new comic writers: too many words! There are times where the word balloons are almost covering the characters. Ross pulls it off because he writes well and is telling an interesting story, but he just needs to be careful because if he gets a little lazy with the writing or if the story slips, then you might start to think that this is a long dirge of a book. Hopefully that won’t become a problem. The only other thing I noted was a factual mistake where he cites the alien’s spacecraft as being “twelve miles above Earth.” The geek in me is offended! 12 miles = about 63K feet. The military makes jets that fly that high. Space “begins” at 62 miles up and the ISS is about 200 miles up. C’mon editor!
Conclusion: This is a unique story that hasn’t been played out 100 times already. Pick up issue #1 now!