Writing - 7/10
Art - 8/10
Overall - 7.5/10
Writer: David A. Byrne
Artist: Francesca Fantini
Letterer: Joel Rodriguez
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Scout Comics
Release Date: January 13, 2021
Angel is fighting back against the vampires, and she has a little help.
User Review( votes)
Vampire Hunters Rule, Blood Suckers Drool in Stake #1
Stake #1 thrusts us into a world where vampires are all too real. Three years ago they revealed themselves, and it has been chaos since then. Angel, now known as “Stake”, got hit personally and she is back for vengeance! Plus she gets lots of social media hits for killing “un-registered” vampires. A member of the Vampire Hunting Union, and with some help from a very special ally, Stake is out to take down every bloodsucker she can in Stake #1.
David A. Byrne takes a bite out of the vampire story/lore with Stake #1. It is hard not to compare it to other vampire stories from the past. Obviously, with a young high school/college girl with quips, it is hard not to compare the leading lady, Stake, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You can feel some similarities, but Byrne does a good job of diverging from that obvious comparison.
Making this wholly original is a steep hill to climb. Byrne does a solid job of making Stake #1 something all of its own. Now, we don’t know exactly how this world’s vampires work, exactly. He brings some things up in this issue that are in dire need of explaining. Well, quite a few things I have questions about, that do throw the story off a bit. But Byrne does bring us along for wild first issue. It is a good set-up and concept that he builds.
I have one major story complaint with Stake #1. Most of the important information I found out about the story was from the solicit. Information about the world and a character that shows up in the end has really no explanation in the book, but who or what she is comes in the small solicit for Stake #1. That is just a big pet peeve of mine, as I feel everything I should need to know should be told inside the issue. I shouldn’t have to go to the solicit to find out about the Vampire Hunting Union and such.
Byrne does do a solid job of introducing us to our lead, Angel/Stake. We spend the whole issue with her as she guides us through what has happened. Great way for the reader to get attached to her quickly and build up this world, even though she is a tad bit annoying with her dialogue. But that just might be because I am an old curmudgeon and that is how young kids talk?
Overall I think the art in Stake #1 by Francesca Fantini is a pretty high point for the book. I love black and white usage for the book with tiny underlays of varying colors here and there for blood or eyes. It gives the issue a delightful individual look and feel to it.
Fantini has a strong, clean, detailed style. I love the ink lines throughout the issue; they are bold, yet have this textured, almost “swoopy” type feel to them. Don’t ask me if that’s a word or what it means. She has some fun panel layouts as well. I enjoyed the shots of Stake filming herself from her phone. It is a nice perspective and layout that helps guide the story.
It does, at times, feel a bit too clean, or things look so pristine that they feel almost out of place. An odd thing, but sometimes things can just be a tad bit too perfect-looking and give an almost “fake” feeling to things, if that makes sense. I would like to see some different angles and shots, as well.
I do just love the overall “design” and feel of Stake #1. It has a nice serious horror tone, but it also gives off that fun campy vibe, as well. I love all the other “vampire” callbacks as well. Fantini does a wonderful job of detailing some classic and current pop-culture vampires.
Overall I enjoyed Stake #1. It is not the greatest first issue ever, but it gets you involved with the story and characters. The overall vibe and tone of the issue are fantastic. Stake #1 has that nice feel of taking itself seriously, but not too seriously. It has horror vibes through and through, but it also throws in some nice banter and jokes along the way. While the story does need some tweaking and everything isn’t perfect, I think Stake #1 is on the right path to be a bloodsucking good series.
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