Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Epilogue – review

Story: Steve Niles

Art: Kyle Hotz

First published: 2009

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: What if the thing that gave you your greatest power was your greatest enemy? Writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and artist Kyle Holtz (Man-Thing) present an all-new series featuring the ultimate avenger/outsider. Filled with bloody action and underworld intrigue, Epilogue is the tale of an ordinary man whose desperate need for vengeance transforms him into a supernatural force for justice!

The Review: Epilogue was a four issue mini-series by Steve Niles and follows an unnamed (until the second to last panel) vampire who has turned masked vigilante. The why’s and wherefores… well he is an accidental turn after a group of vampires attacked and killed his wife and kids. He was attacked but, in the struggle, fell over a cliff edge without being ripped apart and decapitated.

The turning process was interesting. Cops find the bodies of his family and he is up and moving, resistant to gunfire. There is a story gap in respect of what happened with the cops but he later tells us that he then had to let his body die (and partially rot) and wait to be able to move again. One assumes that, given the prevalence of it in the story, decapitation prevents turning. He tried feeding on animal blood and it left him weak and so he feeds on humans but targets criminals (though in this everything may not be as black and white as he firsts thinks). Indeed he is cutting a bloody swathe through the underworld, leaving behind decapitated corpses and very much on the cops’ radar.

There is one detective he has been calling, telling her that he is on their side but news of his exploits reaches Europe and there are certain vampires that do not like what he is doing. The lore has the vampires displaying massively impressive regeneration. Animal blood leaves him weak, as I said, stored blood is okay but only fresh blood will really do. He operates at night and we see him burying himself to avoid sunlight. Decapitation kills a vampire (it was also hinted that heart trauma may do it). He reflects in a mirror but doesn’t show up on film.

The idea created an almost Crow-like anti-hero, but one with special powers (beyond immortality). The artwork worked well and the story was incredibly bloody. The story is fairly simple and I would see it more as a building block that could create quite a complex story over several trade paperbacks – but I think the series ended with this one.

Not bad at all but, more, the potential is there to create something great. 6.5 out of 10.

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