The port town of Stonehaven in northeast Scotland has come under the scourge of bloodsucking undead. As the infestation takes hold, vampire hunter Alexander McLean is summoned to deal with the creatures, if he can only first deal with the demons of his own past.
After the balls-to-the-wall madness of Vietnam Zombie Holocaust, George Lennox now brings us the slightly more prosaically titled but no less histrionic Vampires Everywhere (also a neat reference to seminal vampire flick The Lost Boys). Set in the late 19th century, the comic foregoes the endless layers of postmodernism and reimagining that have compounded upon vampire mythology in recent times, and takes them back to the night-borne chills the very notion of the creatures evoked from when the modern perception of them was popularised almost two centuries ago.
Right from the opening page of a storm-tossed ghost ship crashing into granite cliffs that echoes the Demeter running aground at Whitby, the inspiration of the genre originals is writ large across every moment. It feels like an elegant and menacing vampire tale that Hammer might have made in its ‘60s heyday, but one that also just happens to feature a badass band of mercenary nutters.
The vibrancy of the artwork belies the darkness of the story it brings to life, from colourful interiors of an upper-class mansion to flares of burning torchlight and arterial geysers spraying bare walls in viscous crimson. Even the muted browns of rural Aberdeenshire are alive with the salted tang of coastal air, framed against gunmetal skies shot through with the burning gold of dusk or the oppressive indigo darkness of unforgiving night.
Vietnam Zombie Holocaust had a lively cinematic energy to it, and Vampires Everywhere continues that tradition, featuring flourishes such as weaponry like overpowered crossbows, makeshift explosives and a stake-shooting Gatling gun, or CG-esque visuals like the turquoise luminescence into which vampires detonate upon death.
Vampires Everywhere feels simultaneously classic and modern. It incorporates both the oppressive dread of traditional vampire tales and the fast-paced action of more recent interpretations, seamlessly meshing the two together in a high-octane combustion of visceral bloodletting and gothic terror.
VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE / AUTHOR: GEORGE LENNOX / ARTIST: THOMAS CRIELLY, JAMES DEVLIN / PUBLISHER: CULT EMPIRE COMICS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW