Vampire Detective in Space (Issue 01), written by Caleb Palmquist, drawn by Dave Swartz, and with letters by Dave Lentz, is the start of Something. Of what we’re not entirely sure, given its ending, but it’s definitely A Start. It’s also a lot of fun.
Not a whole lot happens, in Issue 1. It’s short, which makes it hard to have a ton, but this one really is setup space, or maybe world building zone. Which is fine! But if you prefer to have your world building coupled with more plot, you might prefer to wait until additional issues have been released. I (apparently) don’t really care, so I’m perfectly happy to start here.
We have what I’d say are two main characters: James, the titular vampire detective in space, and his trusty A.I., Liz. I think Liz is named for James’ lost love, Elizabeth, but more on that later. The comic starts with James getting wakened by his current employer, to investigate a case: “This one is weird, James,” the employer says. “Weirder than usual.” Weirder than usual, we find out soon, involves…what sure as hell looks like a vampire killing.
We then drop back almost a thousand years, to the beginning of James’ life as a vampire, and his one true love, Elizabeth. This is what I’m talking about, when I mention the backstory, and the world-building: I assume, based on the next couple of sections, that this background is what drives James forward as the only vampire in space, and why his A.I. is Liz.
At heart, Vampire Detective in Space Issue 1 feels like a first chapter, or that first tantalizing section of a larger graphic novel that exists to 1) explain the world and 2) get you into the story. It’s not a full story, exactly, although we do learn a bit about James’ background—and also how the hell he got to space—but that cliffhanger at the end, which is skillfully telegraphed straight through, drives us to want to read more. (I can’t wait for Issue 2 to get fully funded on Kickstarter and roll into production, which is totally the idea.)
But you know what? This is a hell of a lot of fun, and I’ll read it again—I’ve already read it again—and it really will be awesome to read as the full arc comes