I, Vampire: Rise Of The Vampire graphic novel review

DC’s best kept secret, I, Vampire Volume 2: Rise Of The Vampire is out 26 March 2013

Certainly the most underrated comic of 2012, I, Vampire is DC’s best kept secret.

Which sadly, and somewhat predictably, is leading to the book being cancelled after the third story arc despite very strong trade sales. At least we will get our three volumes of sheer genius, though, with this being the second fantastic instalment.

Collecting issues 7 to 12, alongside Justice League Dark issues 7 to 8 to provide the complete background to the Night Of The Vampires mini-crossover, this is a lot of comic for a slim price. Somewhat uniquely among crossovers, neither title absolutely requires the reading of the other to follow the story – much to the credit of writers Joshua Hale Fialkov and the legendary Peter Milligan – but when read sequentially this is a real treat.

If you haven’t read the first volume, Tainted Love, please do so now. The covers to both books are particularly misleading, hinting at some form of Twilight-inspired insipidness, but in actual fact cloak a stylish and atmospheric horror story with some deceptively clever character work. Who is on the ‘good’ side can change in the blink of an eye, and have you rooting for the woman you remember wanting to stake in the previous chapter.

Andrew Bennett is an ancient and powerful vampire, fighting on the side of good; Mary Queen of Blood his estranged lover and an evil fanatic. Setting the scene for epic battles and grandiose monstrousness, a sneak zombie attack sees Sorrentino really unfurl his wings with epic spreads and gut-twisting action. Equally at home with grotesque gore and sweeping shadows, Sorrentino is a real revelation, making this a book with two equally talented creators at the helm.

Destined to be a cult classic.