Titan Comics/Hammer Comics 2017
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Tom Mandrake
Coloured by Sian Mandrake
Lettered by Simon Bowland
In the depths of Eastern Europe, the legendary vampire hunter, Captain Kronos, and his two assistants, Grost and Carla, are called upon to help rid a town of its vampire plague.nHowever, beneath the surface of the beleaguered town a malevolent force far more evil and deadly is awakening and it might just be the match of Kronos…
Oh my yes indeed and thank you, who else is going to mine an old project like this and make it relevant and happening aside from Dan? This time around he’s got Tom by his side and the two make quite a pair. Long before Dungeons & Dragons of Ravenloft there was Captain Kronos travelling the countryside vanquishing vampires of all shapes, sizes and makes. To understand that better you’ll have to read the book but I love the fact that this series addresses that there are more than one kind of Vampire in the world.
As I’ve said this feels and reads very much akin to a Dungeons & Dragons adventure to me and I have to admit that there really should be no other way that this should read. A band of adventurers out to destroy vampire kind it’s very much formulated to make the reader want to experience this alongside these characters. Dan is a very, see extremely, capable writer who with uncanny ease can bring us into the lives of the characters he writes and this is no exception. I like the way he tells this story. Honestly at first I thought it was like a Holmes and Watson kind of deal where Watson is his travelling companion with more gadgets than brawn to get the job done. Oh it doesn’t hurt that while it’s not Steampunk he does feel very much that way. It wasn’t until the introduction of the female companion that it felt like and adventuring group.
Tom’s a master of his craft and I have to say the inventiveness and creativity that he brings to the table here is unmistakable. The way pages are laid out with their perspective and angles is great to see. I want more backgrounds but with Tom we get some different aspects of that here as well as none and proper ones so it’s a smorgasbord of visual stimulation. The expressions on the faces and the uniqueness of the vampires it’s all on display here and it’s classic! So much to love and take in on what he’s doing here.
Well the story is a good one I’ll give it that. As our intrepid trio has chased down their quarry over a vastly larger distance than they’d thought possible the fates shine upon them as they find themselves very much in demand by the locals from a nearby village. Well village isn’t really accurate it’s more a city at least by some standards and from what we can see it is indeed a city of some size. So much so that the humans have put a wall up separating the city from the run down slums that have become the man whom they seeks new habitat.
I like that it’s not so much detective work, although I will admit that having one who does the research and finds what kind of Vampire and name that their quarry holds is fascinating. It’s almost as if Captain Kronos feels like research is left to underlings whereas his talents lie in killing the dreaded beasts. I could be reading more into this than I should be in all honesty that’s what a good story does. It draws the reader in, let’s their mind wander and imagine different scenarios that may or may not play out as well as try to “read” the relationship between characters through their actions. It’s something that Dan does extremely well.
Once again Titan with Hammer really find a way to bring the old to life anew and infuse it with this verve and zest that are a magical combination.