Lest there be any doubt in any perusing bibliophile’s mind that this title is for seriously “mature readers only”, Jason Martin’s script for Issue One of “Vampblade” opens up with his titular character firing off a quartet of ‘f-bombs’ before “Down The Vamp Hole” has even started, and disconcertingly doesn’t have Katie Carva stop spouting expletives until the “other-dimensional vampire” slayer has switched into a Queen Amidala costume and saved her alternate younger self from being murdered by the twenty-two year-old’s possessed cuddly toy collection. Such colourful metaphor-based shenanigans disconcertingly seem to be the core feature of the American author’s unnerving, over sexualised narrative, and arguably only adds to the continuous assault upon the senses with which this book’s graphic contents assails its readership.
Admittedly, that doesn’t necessarily mean though that there’s no fun to be had with “Action Lab Comics” ‘rebooted’ risqué story of a mystically-bladed cosplayer fending off “the Glarkian space vampire invasion all over again…” If the more morality-laden readers amongst this tome’s audience can momentarily set aside their Victorian values then the periodical’s opening panels alone do a rather stellar job of both providing the uninitiated with a rather tongue-in-cheek introduction to this warped incarnation of downtown Detroit, as well as providing a few laughs along the way; “The translucent space dicks decided to change up their game and go full on scorched Earth!”
Likewise, Martin isn’t stingy about imbuing his eighteen-page long script with plenty of over-the-top violence either, as the “comic shop owner” literally severs hands, impales chests and guts criminals with her evidently lethal namesake weaponry, whilst all the time wearing next to nothing. Why, even Vampblade’s previously deceased father gets in on the graphically-pencilled action, courtesy of a behind the counter hand-gun and a somewhat callous head-shot which partially blows away the brains of a temporarily distracted, bald-headed robber.
Possibly this book’s biggest attraction however, is in its dynamically-charged, colourful and cartoony illustrations. Featuring the work of “new artist” Marcelo Costa, a Brazilian with a clear talent for turning even the most harmless looking stuffed animals into terrifyingly frenzied killing machines, few observers can surely question the forceful speed with which either version of Carva can wield her razor-sharp throwing swords, or just how blood-flow stoppingly tight the girls’ minimal “getup” is.