Review: The Vain #1
The concept of a bunch of individuals robbing blood banks intrigues me. The idea is clearly vampire-related but how it’d spin out of the basic idea, it could go in many directions. The fact writer Eliot Rahal is the writer, it instantly becomes one for me to check out. The combination of the two, I’m all in. The Vain #1 is such a comic and… it’s not what I expected at all.
Rahal has written some awesome comics like The Paybacks, Quantum & Woody, and a whole lot more. He’s a writer that I will immediately check out what’s being released. The genres Rahal has dipped in to has varied but generally fall into the action category with a nice dash of humor. The Vain #1 feels like something a bit different for me. The story revolves around four vampires who travel around the country robbing blood banks. It also follows the FBI agent investigating their crimes. Did I mention it takes place in 1941?
The Vain #1 is a period piece vampire story. Yeah, I missed some of that leading up to me reading the comic. And, it’s all good as Rahal delivers a really interesting debut. What I particularly like about this start is, where it begins is definitely not where it ends. The direction the series will likely go is unexpected and not as simple as cops vs. robbers. And that’s a good thing! Rahal does a solid job of delivering layers and twists to known genres and tropes and it looks like he’s going to do something similar here.
Rahal is joined by Emily Pearson on art. Fred Stresing and Macy Kahn handle the colors while Crank! does the lettering. I can’t comment on the outfits and designs of the time. I don’t know it well enough to talk accuracy. But, it felt like the 1940s to me, so the art team does a solid job of sucking in readers in that way. There’s also a great job of mixing the supernatural and the more grounded aspects.
With vampires, things can lean heavily in gore as blood is drained and they seek their victims. Here, the gore is minimized and used to surprise and shock. Most importantly it makes sense for the story. A bunch of robbers who splash blood all over will attract a very different investigation than robbers who don’t. That aspect is clearly thought out and even hinted at. The lack of gore becomes an aspect to the story which is interesting. It also forces the creative team to explore different aspects of the characters than the fact they’re just vampires. It’s done here in their design and sexuality and the comic delivers some solid visual details like reactions to the latter aspect.
The Vain #1 is not what I expected at all. I really thought the comic would be a more cut and dry cops and robbers story. It just so happens the robbers are vampires and the targets are blood banks. The setting and where the comic goes surprised me in a good way and has me wanting to come back. Rahal is known for delivering twists and different takes on popular genres and it looks like we might be getting some more of that here.
Story: Eliot Rahal Art: Emily Pearson
Color: Fred C.Stresing Color Assistant: Macy Kahn Letterer: Crank!
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy
Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review