Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Between series like "Buffy," "Twilight," and "First Blood," there have been many re-imaginings of the vampire myth in recent pop culture. “Impaler” sees horror writer William Harms bring his version to the arena of comics.

In order to differentiate his take on vampires from all the others, Harms concentrates not on the romance and nobility of the immortal creatures (as many re-imaginings do) but on the predatory brutality of the vampire creatures, and their devastating effect on society. While Harms’ vampires are markedly different from the traditional ones in terms of both weaknesses and appearance, the fundamental terrors of the vampire threat remains, and it’s that which allows them the luxury of the name.

In an unusual casting choice, Harms chooses an immortal Vlad the Impaler as the only person readily equipped to deal with the infestation. It’s a unique choice, since Vlad, the historical figure generally accepted as the original inspiration Count Dracula, is usually cast as a vampire rather than the vampire slayer – although, it seems as though the casting choice relies on that prior knowledge for readers to really appreciate the nuance of it.

The book’s artwork is a bit of a mixed bag. The opening issues are drawn by Nick Postic, who specialized in slightly abstract urban panoramas. The vampiric creatures look best here, and his panels often depict beautiful, almost frozen scenes. Unfortunately, as a comic, this approach doesn’t necessarily work, and it loses a lot of storytelling scope as a result. Panels feel disconnected, and it makes it a tough read more like a storyboard than an actual comic. READ MORE.

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