By Dustin Cabeal
Vampire Hunter D is one of those properties that I imagine were pretty interesting and different when they first premiered. Now with years and years of storytelling, it’s just an OG brand that will continue much like hundreds of others in comics and other forms of media. If we’re honest, and I am, Vampire Hunter D hasn’t been relevant or interesting in decades.
The truth of the matter is, I don’t even know if the core story of Vampire Hunter D ever finished or if it even matters. To me, he’s a lot like Vampirella and Red Sonja. They probably all had definitive storylines at one point, but no one can remember and no it’s just different creators jumping on the character and telling their yarn.
That said, I enjoyed this comic. The story is strong enough on its own that it didn’t need to be a Vampire Hunter D story, but it helps. It keeps the writer from wasting time on origin stories and the like. That and the story mostly follows a woman telling how vampires came to Mars. Her narration and story are what carries this book. The writing was very strong, and the dialogue never felt bothersome or unnecessary.
The art is fucking beautiful. I tend to stay away from this brand because I hate the way it looks, but after seeing the covers, I felt like giving it a shot. The interior doesn’t disappoint. It’s a western style which works better for the format and the storytelling. The action was easy to follow, and I can see why people like D as a character. He’s flawed but wins and it’s interesting to watch him do so. In particular, the way he finishes off the last villain in the issue made me grin with childlike amusement.
I wish I had more to say about this issue. The story is pretty straightforward, but it’s the narration that makes it so enjoyable. Otherwise, it’s a well-handled adaptation that I’m happy to read more of. Hopefully, the second issue will be just as strong and continue the balance between D and our narrator. If so, then this story has a lot of potential.
Vampire Hunter D: Message From Mars #1 (of 5)
Story: Hideyuki Kikuchi
Writer: Brandon Easton
Artist: Michael Broussard
Background Artist: Sheldon Mitchell
Publisher: Stranger Comics