Vampire: The Masquerade #1
From the internationally best-selling World of Darkness universe, Vault brings readers a brand-new Vampire: The Masquerade comic series, Winter's Teeth.
When Cecily Brine, a courier for the Twin Cities Camarilla, takes a mysterious younger vampire under her wing, she's dragged into an insidious conspiracy. Will she be able to escape with her unlife and protect her aging, Alzheimer's afflicted sister, or will she be yet another pawn sacrificed to the Masquerade?
Meanwhile, an Anarch coterie investigates a mysterious killing.
Vault’s first IP work comes from the classic game, Vampire: The Masquerade. In the first issue, we find two stories set in the fabled World of Darkness universe, bringing to life a vampire story filled with hierarchical lineage and threats of an anarchist uprising. It’s a strong issue with wildly expansive world building, but there is also an underlying heart to the story that will help to pull you in to their uniquely dark struggle.
Despite being thrust into such an overwhelmingly large world with decades of lore and a history of storytelling through other mediums, Vampire: The Masquerade #1 from Vault takes readers into a purely character driven epic. The two stories, titled Winter’s Teeth and The Anarch Tales do a wonderful job of establishing this dynamic world without losing focus on the characters that inhabit it. While Cecily Brine in Seeley and Pramanik’s story ultimately steals the spotlight with her badass but still vulnerable nature, it’s easy to see that this team is weaving an intricate story with quite a few layers.
There is a lot to take in for newcomers to the entire world of Vampire: The Masquerade such as myself. This is my first real dive into the World of Darkness and it was neither intimidating or easy to get lost. It caters to new readers with it’s apparent simplicity in the story, but has a depth that even someone like myself can easily notice. Longtime fans are sure to enjoy this new narrative unfolding as it gets deeper and deeper into the established lore. As a first issue, it does a great job of balancing the need to be both new reader friendly and still appealing to longtime fans.
While the approach to a vampire lineage, Cecily’s Alzheimer’s afflicted sister and even the strange group Anarch all make for an emotional tale, it’s the artwork that really pushes Vampire: The Masquerade #1 into exciting territory. Devmalya Pramanik delivers page after page of absolutely stunning panels, even when it’s a simple back and forth dialogue. While Gooden does a great job at following up in the next short story, it’s difficult to not see the strength of Pramanik’s work here. With Andworld’s letters on both stories giving a sense of familiarity and consistency they are both able to successfully introduce this world into Vault’s penchant for quality. The character drama feels real and the violence hits hard, it’s just a great book visually.
It’s a fun enough story for newcomers like myself and surely captures enough depth for longtime fans, making it a worthwhile purchase for anyone looking for a great new vampire comic to sink their teeth into. While it’s Cecily’s character that will pull me back in for more as she deals with the unraveling situation within the vampires of the twin cities and this mysterious Alejandra, there is enough stellar artwork and intricate plotting to keep nearly any reader deeply engaged. It seems Vault has yet another success on their hands with Vampire: The Masquerade #1!
It seems Vault has yet another success on their hands with Vampire: The Masquerade #1, an exciting first issue with remarkable depth and a focus on character-driven drama. It's a great start for newcomers and longtime fans alike to sink their teeth into.
Vampire: The Masquerade #1: Embraced and Given a Kiss
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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