After the Vampire uprising, a brittle peace. But efforts have been made to resurrect Michael Fayne, the Vampire Messiah. But only over Luther Swann, ace vampire killer’s, body. Can he prevent the fracturing of the truce and a renewed global holocaust? Find out in your Major Spoilers review of the one-shot, V Wars: God of Death.
Writer: Jonathan Maberry
Artist: Alex Milne
Colorist: Brittany Peer
Letterer: Christa Miesner
Editor: David Hedgecock
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 12th, 2019
Previously in V Wars God of Death: The discovery that so-called junk DNA within each human held the possibility of the transformation of everyone into a vampire convulsed the world. When climate change leads to ice melting and the release of bacteria that triggers the change, blood ran in the streets as humans hunted vampires hunted humans. Only a fragile truce keeps the planet from plunging into renewed horror. However, will efforts by a fringe vampire terrorist group to resurrect their fallen Messiah renew the conflict, or will the zealotry of Luther Swann, who helped end the previous war, trip the world into global calamity?
BLOOD CALLS OUT FOR BLOOD!
Based on the shared world anthology series V-Wars, conceived, edited and principally written by prolific horror writer Jonathan Maberry, V – Wars: God of Death continues the storyline in comic book form. This one-shot, released in the shadow of the upcoming Netflix series, takes the story further into the timeline, where the planet-spanning war has been replaced by a fragile truce.
The death of Michael Fayne, the patient zero of the bacterial outbreak that activated the junk DNA, within which the vampire tendency normally resided, ended the first vampire wars. The truce that transpired for two years was brittle, but held. Now, in the first pages of V –Wars: God of Death, we see a fringe terrorist group working assiduously to revive Fayne as their new God of Death.
Pulpy vampire tales like V – Wars: God of Death can be tremendous fun. There are no shades of gray, just black and white imagery and storytelling that punches hard and with great weight. Punctuated with terse comments by characters declaiming hardened points of view leaves V- Wars: God of Death with little room for nuance. The action is full on; machine gunfire cuts down humans and vampires alike, body parts are scattered across panels and the action is fast, furious and full of great moment. Don’t expect V – Wars: God of Death to be populated by finely drawn characters battling the human (and inhuman) condition. Just expect blood, gore, and viscera, as befits the subject matter.
Originally, your reviewer was put off by the stilted dialogue and artwork. Maberry is terribly prolific and generally speaking, a decent writer. His other IDW series, Road of the Dead (which deals in zombies) is great fun. If you’re looking for a great zombie outbreak story, then the novel Dead of Night is fantastic. V –Wars: God of Death lacks a little of that fluency, which may be down to Alex Milne’s art which to me has an 80s feel that takes a little bit of time getting used to. It could be because the storytelling is quite didactic – both sides are allowed extended time to justify their positions in a manner better suited to a lecturer than a character in a story.
But if you get beyond that, you will find pulse-pounding excitement and entertainment. Milne sprays blood around almost on every page. Victims are eviscerated and exsanguinated with abandon, and the results of the gunplay are brutally conveyed. While the story does tend to preach from both sides, it does add to the propulsive nature of the story, which races along on rails towards a finish that promises an ocean of blood will shortly flow across the world.
BOTTOM LINE: HAS ENERGY
V –Wars: God of Death is the perfect set up to future comic books that will no doubt be released in the wake of the upcoming Netflix series. The central conceit, of a terrorist vampire group seeking to revive their Messiah is fun, while the action that surrounds their efforts is entertainingly rendered. While the characters are broadly drawn, the overall effect is to add to the atmosphere of uncertainty and barely restrained chaos. What comes after the Resurrection will no doubt be tinged in blood and violence.
V-Wars: God of Death
Not the most intelligent series around, V –Wars: God of Death makes up for the thud and blunder with an energy most action series ache to achieve, but often fall short of meeting.