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Review – Vampire: The Masquerade #1 (Vault Comics)

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Vampire: The Masquerade #1

Writers: Tim Seeley, Tini Howard, Blake Howard
Artists: Devmalya Prmanik, Nathan Gooden
Colorist: Addison Duke
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Maturity Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Vault Comics
Release Date: August 5th, 2020

Vampire: The Masquerade #1 dives back into the World of Darkness, and with gusto. This is the beginning of two dark and disturbing tales, perfect for fans old and new.

 

Return to the World of Darkness in Vampire: The Masquerade #1

It’s time to return to the World of Darkness, and it’s all thanks to a new comic series from Vault. Vampire: The Masquerade #1 begins two stories from this foreboding world. It’s everything that fans have been waiting for.

It seems like stories from World of Darkness are suddenly popping up all over the place. First, there was that short story audio compilation, and now a comic series! As a huge fan of the RPGs, I couldn’t be happier about that fact. I know I’m not the only one feeling that way.

Vampire: The Masquerade #1 (Vault Comics) variant cover B by David Mack
Vampire: The Masquerade #1 (Vault Comics) variant cover B by David Mack

These two stories are already proving to be steeped in the lore than fans (myself included) love so much. The first tale follows a courier, and the second an Anarch coterie. Talk about variety!

Winter’s Teeth

The first tale in Vampire: The Masquerade #1 is clearly the beginning of a longer plot. It’s titled “Winter’s Teeth”, and it follows Cecily Brine. She’s a courier for the Camarilla, and she knows that she’s playing a dangerous game in life (or un-life, depending on how you want to look at it).

Writing

Written by Tim Seeley, this is a plot unafraid to get as dark as necessary to show the politics and depths of vampires. The level of complexity portrayed in such a short period of time is impressive, all while showing some of the more harrowing elements of this world. Not to mention the heavy infusion of intrigue towards the end. It’s a perfect balance, really.

Art

Devmalya Pramanik was the lead artist for this half of the issue, working alongside Addison Duke (colors) and AndWorld Design (letters). There’s this rough and dark edge to the world which is so perfect for the story. And for the character, for that matter.

There are a few elements put on highlight here. Mainly the rapidly progressing scenes involving vampire abilities, most of which go by without a comment—leaving the readers to supply the words we all know so well.

The Anarch Tales

“The Anarch Tales” feels like everything “Winter’s Teeth” isn’t. That isn’t quite an accurate statement, as both revolve around vampires, politics, and dangers, yet it still carries a vastly different tone.

Writing

Tini Howard and Blake Howard took charge of this story, bringing the focus on a small Anarch coterie doing the best they can to get by. It’s an intriguing take, showing a different side of this world. It’s impressive how seamlessly the writers introduced four characters, the plot they’re about to be wrapped up in, and even hints of their backstory. It all flowed so smoothly from one panel to the next; yet, there’s no doubt that a ton of information has been passed on to the readers.

Art

The lead artist for this half of the issue was Nathan Gooden, with Addison Duke and AndWorld Design once again filling out the rest. There’s something so evocative about the artwork here. Perhaps it’s the red hues found on every page. More likely, it’s the art style and characters. They’re all dramatically different, showcasing the best and worst (by implication) that this world has to offer, all while directly addressing biases and expectations about vampire lore.

Conclusion

Vampire: The Masquerade #1 is admittedly something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I first heard the news. Yet I can say with sincere honesty that it lived up to my expectations, all while drawing me in and leaving me eager to see how both plots progress in the future.

This is arguably a series perfect for old fans, as well as leaving an opening for new fans. While, admittedly, those more steeped in the lore will pick up more details, the writing and art style are solid enough to support new readers as well.

In short, Vampire: The Masquerade #1 has kept the promises it made, all while introducing two fascinating and addictive plots. Now it’s simply time to play the waiting game for the next installment.

 


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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