Ablaze Comics 2019
Written by Ange & Patrick Renault
Illustrated by Charlie Adlard
Coloured Sébastien Gérard
Lettered by Carlos M. Mangual
The bloodbath in the world's most famous skyscraper continues! Legions of vampires have taken control of the Empire State Building and their victims have now been reanimated and joined their ranks. Outside, police and army are doing their best to contain the menace in the building and to destroy any creature who would try to invade New York City. But Mary and Terry are still somewhere in the floors and they have only a short time left to try to escape and - maybe - to survive.
Yes please and thank you very much. This series is spectacular in so many different ways. For starters we've been so inundated with Zombies that seeing Vampires is a welcome change of pace. The fact that one Vampire was locked away in a hidden room in a vault of concrete in the middle of the Empire State Building is a bit of genius. Factor in the explanation we got for that and it engages the readers' mind in ways that make them feel like a part of the story. Also let's face it that not everyone in the original group of friends is surviving this well that's just an added layer of realism.
There may or may not come a time when that origin could be expanded upon, I am good either way. After all what matters isn't how he got there what matters is what happens now that he's free. I do very much enjoy the fact that we aren't learning anything more than the characters are as we go along as this means the way it builds tension, generates intrigue and maintains the curiosity is absolutely delicious. So as far as I am concerned this kind of came out of the blue from the French and is now taking the America's by storm with some absolutely flawless storytelling.
The story & plot development we see through the sequence of events unfolding and how the reader learns information is laid down so expertly. The way we move through the page and how we see the various layers in the story playing much like a game of domino's is old school interesting. New school interesting is seeing how the domino's are knocking each other down to get to the end of the row without stopping. There's a dance going on here and it's choreographed beautifully. The character development is amazing to see. We started off with a decent sized group of friends that have been whittled down considerably while also introducing us to new characters. Considering the depth of the characterisation they all receive there's no telling who is going to live and who isn't and that's just plain fabulous! The pacing here is fantastic and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along way there's a very real adrenaline rush that occurs. Everything here works together to create the books ebb & flow and highlight how the book is structured.
We all know Charlie's one of the most talented artists working today. His groundbreaking black and white work is legendary and to see it in such glorious colour thanks to Sébastien makes me drool. There are scenes and moments that remind me what true talent looks like, when we see the city, the buildings and the streets those are such powerful images. The linework is superb and how we see the varying weights being utilised to bring out this attention to detail is impressive. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The composition inside the panels as they bring us depth perception, scale and that sense of size and scope to the book while also showcasing backgrounds makes me even happier. The colour work here is phenomenal! There are hues and tones we see within colours that create the shading, highlights and shadow work that exude so much more than a visual here.
I will be Oliver, Please Sir, I'd like some more... and I really would too. I fell a little behind with this and next week the next issue hits stands but my shop isn't getting it in for me for some reason and by the time I can order it and it gets here well this is the result. So if your store isn't carrying, ask em too, get online to store that ships and get all available issues. This may be a vampire book but it's far from your typical horror genre offering.