I’ve checked out three pieces of work from Donny Cates and so far the man is batting a thousand with me. His and Daniel Warren Johnson’s The Ghost Fleet from last year is one of the most underappreciated series of all of comic history. There is no review for the first issue of Interceptor, but if there was it would be something to the extent of “hey Heavy Metal… keep it up. Keep finding incredible books like Interceptor and hey Donny Cates… wow… wow. How the fuck do you keep finding these amazing ass artists to work with?” Also Vampires. I don’t know where that would fit in there, but it would.
Seriously though, this is a story in the dystopian future, but fuck every other version you’ve seen before. The first issue fills us in actually as we find a new planet has become home to the human race because vampires were beginning to take over earth and we said, screw that shit and boned out… and dropped all of our nukes… which helped evolve them. Now we follow a solider that’s been trained to kill vampires and sent back to scout the earth for potential threats. We also learn that there are still humans alive on earth.
The second issue begins with the vampire Queen that was mentioned in the first issue. The vampire sheriff Arden fills her in on the situation and for some reason she asks to talk to the humans captured. The humans being Lehan, the human sent back and Weep, the earth girl that’s lived in the fallout of the planet all her life. We go to prison with them and Lehan fills Weep in on her mission… which is a bad idea because fucking Weep yells her plan to the entire prison which is filled with vampires. That’s right, even vampires have prisons. Shit goes south when someone releases all the prisoners and they of course go for the humans, typical vamps.
The story gets cooler from there, but this one is one that you need to experience. I can see other people saying stuff like, “it’s Mad Max with vampires” which is low hanging fruit... but if no one has made that comparisons then I claim it. It has some Mad Max design elements, but Cates is crafting his own story. He doesn’t reinvent the vampires. He doesn’t need to. Instead Cates creates an interesting world and populates it with great characters. His writing is very unique. He manages to balance humor, drama and action quite well. Here the story is a little more over the top, but it’s extremely successful in its execution.
The art is great. No it’s better than great… it’s fantastic. I love the art. The design and look is the closest to Tradd Moore that I think you’ll ever see. Dylan Burnett’s style is dynamic and the perfect fit for the story. The line work is think and heavy, but it screams, "this is the future!" A huge part of the art’s success is the coloring. It has this Blade Runner look to it, but this great neon pink vibe. It’s very True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys looking in terms of the color, but without the shit fuck story that hung out and maybe had some social commentary somewhere if you put it in yourself.
Interceptor is a goddamn romp. It’s entertaining and just two issues in and I’m really hooked. The story is all Cates, you can tell even if you didn’t know he was writing it and the art team is a break out hit already. Now I will say that if Heavy Metal continues producing comics like this and Narcopolis, then they just might leave in impression on the industry in a way they haven’t done since the 80s.
Interceptor #2 Writer: Donny Cates Artist: Dylan Burnett Publisher: Heavy Metal Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/10/16 Format: Print/Digital Comixology Link