Clearly designed to be a supposed “perfect jump-on point” by “IDW Publishing”, this ‘revamped’ Issue Six of “V-Wars” seemingly ‘parks’ the franchise’s prior ‘obsession’ with the duplicitous delicacies of diplomacy, and instead provides an initially forthright fiction about a mass-murdering blood drinker who simply needs to be tracked down to his lair by Big Dog and receive “a bullet in their brain pan” before the fanged psychopath can kill any more hapless diners. Such a straight-forward story set within Jonathan Maberry’s ordinarily complicated “escalating battle with vampire terrorists” must have made a refreshingly enthralling read for this book’s insubstantial audience in October 2014, and certainly contains plenty of hackle-raising horror as Victor Eight deploys “to a research facility near an old mine” only to discover the location’s “small team of geeks here to study the environmental impact of using old copper mines as dumpsites for toxic waste” have been brutally beheaded. Indeed, the New York Times best-selling author’s narrative creates a palpable taste of terror in the mouth as he pens the so-called “top gunslingers” apprehensively scouring the cave system’s catacombs, and finding little more than blood trails, dismembered corpses, as well as half a dozen reasons for the heavily-armed military unit to foolishly split up.
Admittedly, the American anthology editor eventually imbues his script with a substantial element of political intrigue in the shape of “about a million dollars-worth of airlock” incongruously buried deep underground, as well as a heavily-financed computer-driven scientific research laboratory which immediately convinces Professor Swann that his party is well out of their depth. But by this point, any perusing bibliophile who may have inadvertently picked up this twenty-page periodical was probably as likely to return the book to its spinner rack as the Vampire Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Field Team’s commander was of getting a radio transmission signal “upstairs” so as to “call this in.”; “Maybe it’s iron ore in the rock blocking the signal, or maybe we’re being jammed.”
Sadly, this opening instalment to “All Of Us Monsters” is arguably somewhat let down by Marco Turini’s rather messy-looking story-boards, especially those pencilled by the Italian artist once the foul-mouthed Big Dog starts scrapping for his life at close quarters against the formidably-powerful Nelapsi he’s been searching for. Undeniably dynamically-driven, and packed full of the frantic-pace one would expect from the veteran soldier’s desperate, breathless attempts to stay off “the lunch menu”, the Pulp Factory Award-winner’s scratchy sketching style still jarringly strikes as being far less attractive to the eye than this comic title’s rested regular illustrator, Alan Robinson.