Featuring an opening sequence which seems highly reminiscent of the action a bookworm might expect to find housed within one of Jonathan Maberry’s “V-Wars” adventures, this digital-only publication undoubtedly contained more than a few surprises for its audience upon its release in March 2018. For whilst Mike Lynch’s treatment for his twenty-seven page magnum opus initially portrays “the immortal Lazarus” fleeing precisely the sort of gas-mask wearing, automatic-firearm carrying, elite foot-soldiers pencilled within the panels of “IDW Comics” aforementioned book depicting the “sweeping, threaded narrative of the global phenomenon known as the Vampire Wars”, the West Irishman’s tale instead soon engagingly transcends into a fascinating ‘historical’ piece set within the author’s homeland in 1690.
Indeed, despite Mary’s one-time dead brother at first facing a hail of bullets, a fall from a considerably-sized skyscraper and a ride upon the wing of a technologically advanced fighter plane, all of which would quite understandably have left any perusing bibliophile somewhat breathless with excitement courtesy of Joe Campbell’s dynamic story-boarding, it is debatably not until the bearded Bethany-born adventurer undertakes his “quest to find an ancient artefact that will grant him the one thing he seeks most in life” that this comic truly captivates the reader on account of the man’s mysterious love-hate relationship with a band of dark-spirited blood-drinkers. So close an association between a supposed holy man of the Lord and the soulless creatures of the Devil really does ‘strike a surprise’, especially as Lazarus’ affiliation with the vampire, Martha, appears so intriguingly intimate during their joint atmospherically-penned exploration of “an ancient seat of worship.”
Interestingly however, Lynch is not shy of adding an enjoyable, strong sense of personality to his supporting cast either, with the local township’s guards Thomas and Oliver providing a moment of much-needed humour when they challenge a pair of impudent monster hunters for refusing to explain their presence before the settlement’s barred gate; “Emm… Well… Since you put it like that! We are bound for Lower Bennett Street to do the Lord’s work…” Whilst in addition, the viciously ill-natured Leon, unable to slake his thirst until he has unwisely slaughtered a handful of hapless soldiers and resultantly led the local enraged garrison to the very door of the coven’s secret abode, proves an entertaining foil to the high morals of Jesus’ long-lived strait-laced friend.