I bought this issue not expecting very much. I really wasn’t impressed with the last issue: Bad writing, bad characterization, and poorly done art. I felt the book hadn’t been thought out and was hastily brought to press. I can honestly say I was relatively surprised when I found myself enjoying this issue.
The issue picks up where we last left off, with Alice Blood (terrible name… just terrible) confronting her first vampire. Before the fight kicks off, Alice flashes back to her training in Quantico. Seems that she isn’t some rogue FBI agent out to find vampires. Turns out, she was trained to fight them from the get go. Something big has been building.
We also learn that Alice Blood is only an alias. Relief. I swear, that name alone wouldn’t let me take the comic seriously.
After the flashback, action ensues. After the smoke clears, Alice realizes that she has a rare opportunity on her hands: She may be able to detain a live vampire. She calls her team and the race against the clock begins.
The pacing of the book is perfect. Niles times the flashbacks and scene switches with near perfection. He manages to keep the tension going as the team races to Alice. Sam Keith did a great job with art this issue as well. He did a particularly good job during the final action sequence. The way he draws Alice and the scene really gets the message across that Alice is alone and bad things are going to happen.
Overall, I feel this issue redeemed the last. I am onboard for at least another issue. That said, this was an action-oriented offering. There wasn’t a lot of plot to go around. As such, I dread picking up the next issue only to have it be a repeat of the first in the way of characterization and overall plotting. If Steve Niles wants to keep me reading, then he needs to nail those elements much harder.