[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Scott Godlewski
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The story commences with a quick recap of the events of the 1987 movie to which this miniseries is a sequel. Sam Emerson is working in a comic store, trying to sell a customer a comic based on these events, but the customer would rather read The Dark Knight Returns.
Another customer, this time an attractive woman, asks about a comic about a lost underground city of vampires. Sam tries to impress this mysterious woman, but fails miserably.
Meanwhile, Sam’s brother Michael is working at a retirement home, discussing his girlfriend Star with the elderly ladies he is helping out. When he finishes for the evening, Star meets him outside.
Then we see Edgar Frog, vampire hunter, apparently stalking his prey. However, instead of a vampire, it turns out to be a dog. A mysterious figure attacks him from behind. This turns out to be Grandpa Emerson, grandfather to Sam and Michael. We learn is training his the Frogs to be vampire hunters. The elder Frog tells Edgar and Alan that despite the vampires the Frog brothers have already killed, they have a way to go before they can be inducted into the Santa Carla Hunters Union.
Next, Grandpa goes to a meeting of the S.C.H.U. Unfortunately, the group is not in great shape, with only a handful of members left, and no vampire or other supernatural activity to deal with. As they conclude their business, a mysterious vampire holding a Molotov cocktail is watching unnoticed from outside the window.
As Sam finishes up at the comic shop, he falls victim to a prank played by the Frog brothers. As the three friends discuss how to spend the evening, they notice firetrucks heading towards the S.C.H.U. headquarters.
As they arrive, the three are met by Grandpa Emerson who tells them that the S.C.H.U. had been attacked by vampires. Grandpa manages to tell the Frog brothers that they are now the only vampire hunters left before succumbing to his wounds and dying.
This is an intriguing start to the story. It catches the reader up on what the characters from the movie are up to and sets up the premise for the battle between the vampire hunters and a group of vampires.
Also there is the mystery of the lady introduced early on. Is she important to the story? Is she going to be a boon to the vampire hunters or is she a vampire herself?
I also loved the nod to a number of DC landmark comics shown in the comic store. I recognized many comics from my own collection amongst the covers displayed on the store’s racks.
Unfortunately, I never saw the original movie, so I found myself a bit lost with the story until I looked up a summary of the events of the movie. The story presupposes that the reader has seen the movie, which is a drawback. The brief recap is useful, but it might have been better if it was a bit more detailed.
A solid start to the miniseries. It introduces (or reintroduces) the main characters and sets up the motivations for the upcoming conflict between the hunters and vampires. However, I will be sure to watch the original movie before next month’s installment.