Review: Dark Red #1

Dark Red #1

Charles “Chip” Ipswich isn’t one of those coastal elites with a liberal arts degree and a job at a social media start-up who knows where all the best brunch places are…

No, Chip is one of the “forgotten men.” He lives in a rural area in the middle of the country where Jesus still has a place at the dinner table and where factories send jobs to Calcutta.

Chip is also a vampire.

Stuck working the last shift at a gas station, Chip is lonely and bored…and then his dull, bleak life is turned upside down when SHE comes to town.

The concept of a vampire story set in MAGA country to me sounds interesting and the potential for interesting commentary. Unfortunately, beyond a few bigoted characters Dark Red #1 doesn’t deliver much that’s new or interesting.

Written by Tim Seeley, Dark Red #1 introduces us to Chip and lets us know we’re in a “deep red” area by the locals who lament about the Democrats shutting down the refinery and how the Mexicans took their jobs. Rightwing bingo also gets a square when large cities are described as “not real America.” Seeley could be going somewhere with it, and I hope he does, but the first issue as presented comes off as a vampire story set in Republican country and that’s it.

There’s some interesting aspects such as how Chip gets his blood but the comic falls into tropes of vampires battling vampires to a point you can almost see where it goes. When there’s opportunity to explore the exploitation of individuals who live in this area, or how reality has been warped for them, or how they’re forgotten, the comic doesn’t do much at all to deliver on what makes it stand out. There’s some dancing around some of that but the comic never commits to it falling back on a typical vampire story.

The art by Corin Howell with lettering by Marshall Dillon is really good with some interesting character designs and ideas presented. There’s even times the art looks like Sean Gordon Murphy’s with the combination of character design and use of inking. But then there’s other times the style looks like Ryan Ottley but without his comedic flair.

There’s a lot of potential here and I want to read more and see where it goes. The comic could be amazing diving into the current zeitgeist and exploring a snapshot of the current American socio-political situation. As is, we just have a vampire story set in a place we don’t normally see in comics.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Corin Howell Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review