- Writer: Donny Cates
- Art: Dylan Burnett
- Letters: Taylor Esposito
- Cover: Nick Pitarra
- Publisher: Heavy Metal Magazine
- Release Date: February 10, 2016
Heavy Metal Magazine’s Interceptor #2 written by Donny Cates with art by Dylan Burnett is a science fiction horror comic set in a dystopia future in which mutated vampires rule the Earth. The comic is reportedly in development for a potential film according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The story starts in issue #1 with newly elected President Dominic of the colony planet Palus being briefed by his advisors of Earth’s true history. It did not become uninhabitable by pollution and war, nor are these the reason Earth’s scientists came together to find a new world for mankind to colonize. The horrific truth was that in the late third millennium vampires came out of hibernation from Earth’s melting glaciers. As the first colonists bound for Palus left their home planet, they detonated Earth’s nuclear arsenal as a finale blow to the nefarious monsters that had taken over their home world. Rather than destroying the vampires, the nuclear fallout caused them to evolve, growing in both intelligence and technological skill. Having finally located the colonized Planet Palus, the vampires plan an invasion. As a preemptive attack the colony sends the space ship Interceptor to Earth with a surgically modified solider named Poli who is trained in every type of martial art and has an indestructible battle suit. On Earth, Poli encounters a motor cycle riding rebel named Weed being pursued by vampires called ticks. Both are captured by vampire Sheriff Arden Reed and taken to Baroness Matilda’s prison.
Issue two is primarily focused on their attempted prison break, with Weed’s father Randolph and her sisters trying to infiltrate the prison whilst Poli and Weed attempt to fight their way out. We also learn about the pocket of the human resistance living in the dunes and the subjugated humans or familiars who bleed for the vampire farms to earn their food and gain protection from the ticks.
I was intrigued by the opening of issue two with the blood drunk Baroness in recline surrounded by naked blood stained familiars. There is more all out combat action in this issue and plenty of snarky comments from the feisty Weed to delight readers. The art by Burnett is more simple and icon than realistic and gritty, so the violence and gore are not overly intense and can be used for humorous effect. Letterer Taylor Esposito’s uses onomatopoeia to great effect to add to the humor. The neon color choices by Burnett for a futuristic vampire science fiction story is spot on.
Among the book’s weaknesses are a couple of pages where an injured Poli tries to recall what happened while she floated in and out of consciousness. During this sequence, new story elements are introduced such as Vamp Rock but only in one a panel. It’s a great hook, but it needs to have a bit more meat on it to get this reader to bite. There are also a few pages in the book where the coloring becomes murky and it is very difficult to make out what is happening on the page. This may have been less an artistic choice than it was a production problem. Toward the end of the book, a new character is introduced, but where he is and what he is trying to access is unclear. The lack of clarity might have been intentional to create a sense of mystery, but as a cliff hanger it left me cold. These are just a couple of examples of unexplained and underdeveloped plot points in the second issue that I hope Cates and Burnett plan to flesh out sooner rather than later. With a few flaws in the storytelling technique the second issue of Interceptor may have stumbled a bit, but it is still worthwhile read with potentially great things to come.
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