cover image I, Vampire, Vol. 1: Tainted Love

I, Vampire, Vol. 1: Tainted Love

Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino. DC Comics, $14.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-4012-3687-8

Self-loathing vampire Andrew Bennett, created by J.M. DeMatteis in 1981, returns for a blood-soaked adventure in the New 52. Centuries ago the former Lord Bennett transformed his lover Mary into a monster like himself, but where Bennett rejected his nature, Mary embraces it, reveling in her role as Queen of Blood. Mary has gathered an army of undead and is wreaking havoc across the world, forcing Bennett to seek out allies among the DC universe’s appropriately themed characters, from surly Cockney magician John Constantine to the well-funded vigilante, Batman. At stake is the world itself. What could, in more talented hands, have been a derivative but lively rump is rather a tedious sequence of bloody fight scenes and gratuitous cameos from DC’s better known characters, a carnage-filled trudge toward a cliffhanger less tension-inducing than annoying. Although Sorrentino’s art has a suitable gothic sweep to it, nude scenes have anatomical details carefully elided while the artist feels free to illustrate brutal killings in savage detail. (Oct.)