[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Scott Godlewski
As the issue opens, Alan Frog has been tasked with taking a bunch of ex-vampire children to safety. When one of the kids asks why he doesn’t take them to the police, Alan replies with the Frog brothers’ suspicions that the Santa Carla city government has been infiltrated by the undead.
Meanwhile, at the Hughes Retirement Home, Ages Underwood, the head vampire in Santa Carla, waits for the arrival of the Emersons and Star. Agnes holds the Emersons’ mother and Laddie hostage, demanding a sample of blood from the Queen of the Mothers.
Sam Emerson and Star arrive with the blood sample and demand the release of Agnes’ hostages. Seeing that they have brought the blood, she orders her followers to release them.
Upstairs in the retirement home, Michael Emerson and Edgar Frog wait anxiously. They discover that Luis, one of the home’s staff, has survived the vampire attack by covering himself in Ben Gay so they couldn’t smell him, and hiding in a janitors’ closet.
Edgar finds a container in the closet and asks Luis about it. He tells them that it’s a foot cream for Agnes, but that she refused to let him use it on her. Examining the label, Edgar realizes why: it contains silver, which is toxic to vampires. Looking at the water pipes in the closet, Edgar gets an idea.
Downstairs, as Sam and his mother are reunited, Agnes grabs him from behind and tells Star that she will kill him unless Star does as she demands. Agnes orders Star to inject herself with some of the Queen’s blood to prove they haven’t tampered with it by adding holy water. If it is tainted, it will kill Star, but if it’s pure, it will turn her into a vampire: and cure her Cystic Fibrosis.
This series turned out to be surprisingly accessible to those unfamiliar with the original movie. When I first started reading it, I hadn’t seen the movie, but was easily able to understand the story from reading a short online synopsis of it. The series is easier to appreciate if you have actually seen the movie, but it isn’t an absolute requirement.
I also was surprised at how much leeway Tim Seeley had with the characters’ fates. Usually, with a licensed property, the writer’s hands are tied and you can be sure that characters from the original movie won’t be killed. However, there was no assurance of this, as shown by the death of Grandpa Emerson. The story was that much more suspenseful because no one was guaranteed to survive to the end.
The flipside of this freedom Seeley had with the characters is that if a sequel movie is ever made, that this book will likely be declared apocryphal. However, that does not detract from the enjoyment of the story and until such a sequel materializes, we are free to consider this book canon.
It was a fun ride, with suspense, humour, tragedy, and lots of action. This recipe adds up to a great reading experience. Hopefully, a further series will be forthcoming.