Sunday, October 25, 2009

FVZA #1 (of 3) – A Review

FVZA #1 The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency

Publisher Radical Comics

Writer David Hine

Conceived by Beau Flynn & Tripp Vinson

Art Roy Allan Martinez

Painted by Kinsun Loh & Jerry Choo

Price $4.99 – 44 pages of story and art

Release Date October 28, 2009

It has been a little while since I have had the chance to feature a book from Radical Comics. One thing I love about this company is you know going in no matter what else you will receive a high quality production. In this case, not only is the presentation top notch but this is the best book I have seen from Radical, which is high praise as I have enjoyed many of their books.

It is funny because I thought that I was pretty well done with any more Zombie books, except Walking Dead and outside of 30 Days of Nights, vampires were not the stuff of nightmares they used to be. Now after reading this book I can’t wait for issue #2 and I’m hoping this is volume one in a series of mini-series.

The concept is pretty straight forward. Vampires and Zombies were a plague that America had to deal with for a lot of their history. The story starts in the old west and moves forward with a history lesson of what the US did to rid themselves of these plagues and the role a newly created agency the FVZA played in ending it (Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency). The FVZA did their job so well they worked themselves out of a job.

The story is told by Landra’s Grandfather, who was a major player with the FVZA. He is raising his grandchildren Landra (the granddaughter) and Vidal the grandson. In fact he tries to train them to be FVZA agents even though it appears as it is a skill set they won’t need. The granddaughter takes to it like a duck to water and the grandson like a duck to buckshot.

The story actually starts with an older Landra about to shoot her Grandfather, next we flashback to the story of her growing up with her grandfather. After that we see the plagues are coming back and government calls in her grandfather to help out.

The story has built tons of plotlines right from the jump. Questions it leaves hanging in the air are:
1) Is her Grandfather now a vampire?
2) Did he somehow restart to menace to relive his glory days?
3) How did Landra’s parents die?
4) Where is Vidal in the present?
5) The Vampire building his entourage, will he be killed by the old Vampire?

I know my summary did not cover everything that happened in the book, so all of my questions may not make sense, but it is enough to know we are seeing the overall plot and sub-plots being laid out in great fashion. David Hine is an excellent writer and this book is an example of his skills.

The artwork is gorgeous. Martinez knows how to draw beautiful woman and ugly vamps and zombies. His layout and panel design is exciting and dynamic, but never at the expense of his story telling. The painted look is icing to the cake on this book. Martinez has a photo realistic style, but it still has a dynamic and fluid edge to it.

Overall Grade A- Stunning visuals, an exciting plotline and great writing. Even the undead want to read this book.

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