Containing so much dialogue that arguably some of this book’s audience probably felt they were wading through one of the author’s prose novels rather than enjoying a comic book which “chronicles the first Vampire War”, Issue Seven of “V-Wars” still somehow managed to provide its readers with plenty of action-packed thrills and spills on account of Victor Eight’s fierce firefights. Indeed, as pulse-pounding plots go, Jonathan Maberry’s narrative for “Staring Into The Abyss” is as brutally bloody and deeply disturbing as any fan of the “multiple Bram Stoker Award winner” could debatably want.
For starters, the Federal Response Team is soon shown to be facing more than just “a new species of genetically enhanced vampire super-soldier”, as Joe Ledger, Luther Swann and Big Dog discover when the trio are ambushed inside the secret underground genetic laboratory they’ve recently discovered by “a variation of the Chinese hopping vampire”, whilst the rest of their Vampire Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism party are forced to blaze away at a unit of Red Knights from Iran within the confines of a dilapidated cavern system. Both sequences provide plenty of gore and gratuitous violence, especially when the “special ops gunslinger from one of those we’re so secret if I told you our name I’d have to kill you agencies” dispatches his pale-skinned Korean adversary with a blade to the brain, yet also help move the ongoing series’ overall plot forward as Taurus Harper is ‘forced’ to reveal himself to be an undercover agent of the Crimson Queen in order to save Lashonda from some “vampire assassins.”
This particular disclosure is superbly penned by the “New York Times best-seller” with the ferociously-fanged, blood-drenched corporal forcibly having to regain control over his bestial savagery just in time to recognise his wounded team-mate for who she is and “get you out of here.” Admittedly, in the grand scheme of things it seems somewhat wasteful for the American playwright to expose the soldier’s ghoulish lineage to his horrified comrade-in-arms so soon after introducing the character to this comic’s cast. But it does provide this twenty-page periodical with one of its most heart-stopping moments as the shell-shocked V-8 markswoman is pencilled by “guest-artist” Marco Turini placing her automatic weapon’s barrel squarely upon the vampiric marine’s forehead and threatens to squeeze the trigger; “You do what you have to do.”