Seraph’s Sanctions: Vampblade #5

Writer: Jason Martin
Artists: Marco Maccagni & Winston Young
Colorist: Marcelo Costa
Letterer: Adam Wollet
Publisher: ACTION LAB: DANGER ZONE (June 2016)

The Breakdown:
Katie tries to deal with her new dual identity and it’s not going too well. After nearly getting video taped at a diner, Katie starting to realize how much trouble she’s possibly getting in. Meanwhile, an armored figured is coming for Vampblade …

unnamed (37)The Bad:

There wasn’t much bad for the issue at all. Yet, it was mystery, Katie fights TSDs & super TSD. Comic book shop talk between coworkers, whose names escape me as I write this. Mystery appears at store. The end. ┬áIt just felt a little breezy this issue. That’s all.

Moment of the Issue:
The comic book conversation between Katie’s two workers.

 

The Good:

This book continues to be a lot of fun & Martin has no problem showing it. Through the ridiculous to the sublime, Martin makes it all work really well in the set up of the issue. Martin allows readers to enjoy the ridiculous battles while grounding Katie in the fact that she cannot go on going around the city and attacking TSDs … which is hilarious that Martin came up with that name, and keep hiding her real identity. Martin does present this serious matter then allow for another comedic moment then ends it back with a serious one. The mood shifts aren’t daunting of disorienting at all, allowing for readers to get hooked on this roller coaster. And make no mistake, this is a roller coaster. There’s fan service, mystery, violence and an intelligence to it. Martin knows that there’s a very B-movie quality about the book, having it on display, but doesn’t hesitate to remind Katie and readers that real life does get effected by our actions. And I really think he does a good job of balancing the camp with the serious. Readers can tell that Martin is having fun with this book while also taking it seriously.

Young’s art is good and fairly cleanly penciled. Maccagni’s art was very strong this issue. Maccagni’s style is a bit more cartoony mixed with contemporary superhero comic book art, bit it works and works well. Maccagni does some really strong panel work and perspective’s this issue while having no problem giving expression to all his characters. There are some really strong panel work in terms of framing and the actual action within the panel. There’s this really wonderful overhead shot of Katie that actually rendered well. Costa’s colors fit very well with Maccagni and Young’s styles, really highlighting the best of both artists while making the book have this darker, yet vibrant feeling as you flip through pages. The action was really well done and the quiet moments were pretty good too.

unnamed (38)The Verdict:

Vampblade # 5 moves our character and the book forward with new mysteries, some fan service, some laughs and builds upon some adult themes. The mysteries of the TSDs as well as how Katie is going to have to come up with a way to deal with her duel role add both some maturity and authenticity to the book. Threats evolve. That’s makes sense. Also, it is refreshing that Katie realizes that her powers leave her vulnerable as well as cause issues with her operating as Vampblade. And the exchange between the comic book employees were both funny and refreshing, making a meta commentary on comic books. I loved the argument, but there was definite weight lost in the argument as I still do not remember the names of both characters after the conversation. It very well could be a defining moment for both, but there’s been so little of them that I don’t care about them as characters, but I do care about the commentary that was stated. Odd, huh?

Still, the art was really good and there’s promise of both campy fun and interesting plot twists ahead, even with the breezy read. There’s a lot of promise here and a lot of good and with what Martin’s got set up, we could be seeing some more good to come.