When the Chinese mafia steals your woman, and leaves you for dead, there’s only one thing left to do – turn on your vampire powers and become a killing machine.

KILLING THE COBRA #4
Writer: Mario Acevedo
Artist: Alberto Dose
Letterer: Chris Mowry
Editor: Tom Waltz
Publisher: IDW Publisher

Previously in Killing the Cobra: Felix Gomez went to war a soldier, and returned a vampire. To keep him in check while he does missions for the vampire underground, he’s fallen in love with Qian Ning. While avenging the death of a DEA agent, Gomez crosses paths of the Han Cobras, who want nothing more than to kill him. And the only way they think they can do it is by killing Felix’s girlfriend.

VAMPIRE BY DAY, VAMPIRE BY NIGHT

While Qian Ning wasn’t killed in the gang attack on the Mission District Women’s Shelter, Felix and Qian do get caught in the crossfire while fleeing to Felix’s safe house. The ruthless overlord, Jiang Chow, ends up using Qian as bait to lure Felix in, and he is going to do it in the most ruthless manner he can. When creating an evil character, Acevedo kind of goes over the top with Jiang Chow. As a character heavily into bondage and masochism, he has no problem immediately putting Qian in a bondage outfit (complete with ball gag), and is very interested in harpooning Felix and electrocuting him until he’s nothing more than a fried husk.

Felix uses a computer to track Jiang’s cell phone, finds the warehouse where everyone is holed up, and begins to kill those who have wronged him, but in the process, Qian gets shot in the gut by Jiang. It’s a sad moment, but not one the reader gets to dwell on to long as the issue quickly jumps some months later, where Felix finally gets his revenge on Jiang who has been holed up in his apartment in Shanghai.

For the most part, this series has been an interesting read if for no other reason than to see a novel get translated into the comic form. This concluding chapter is fairly predictable in its execution, which is a little disappointing. While the nature of the violence is rather high, the result is nothing we haven’t seen or read before in a dozen other stories. While I do like the overall concept of the Felix Gomez, and this series did introduce readers to the world of networked vampires and their assassins, everything seemed rather rushed. While I’m keen on the idea of a four issue series, this one just felt like it needed a little something more.

AT LEAST HER NAUGHTY BITS WERE COVERED

When you’re dealing with a character who is into a lot of sexual fetishes, the art is going to need to be handled delicately to keep from getting an adult rating. Alberto Dose handles the challenge well, as every panel that features Qian in her leather bondage gear has just enough of her long hair covering her nipples. And for those interested in seeing a half naked girl, there’s still plenty of boob shots to go around. Dose’s style is fairly simple, but inking and coloring brings everything down. The shadows on the faces are so dark that it implies harsh light and rather dark environments, yet the surroundings and background coloring don’t mirror that of the characters.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH A READ

Vampires are on the rise in comics at the moment, and for those who don’t want to read the I Vant to Suck Your Blood kind of vamp, the Felix Gomez series is worth checking out. There isn’t any stabby stabby, but there is plenty of fighty-fighty as this concluding chapter spills plenty of blood on both sides of the battle. Acevedo has created an interesting character, and one I wouldn’t mind reading in one more mini-series. The art could step it up a notch, but overall, Killing the Cobra: The Chinatown Trollop is worth picking up and reading, and earns 3 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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