FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency #1 (Radical Comics)

fvza_header.jpgFormer Spawn writer David Hine brings you pretty much exactly what the title of his new series suggests.

 

 

 

56 pgs. full color; $4.99
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W: David Hine; A: Roy Allan Martinez, Kinsuh Loh, & Jerry Choo)

 

One of two variant covers to FVZA #1. Click for a larger image.Remember when vampires were scary? Their motivation was to drink the blood of living humans, and they often accomplished this by seducing young innocent women (because everyone knows the blood of virgins tastes so much better). In the past when a vampire moved into an area, words like "plague" and "curse" started coming off of hushed lips and the chapel was host to one funeral after another as the bodies began to pile up. They were damned creatures who could only come out at night and stalk the shadows, and if they did find themselves caught out in the daylight, they would burst into flames and burn to an ash and then blow away in the wind. Now sunlight makes vampires sparkle?

If you prefer your vampires on the sinister and nasty side, then FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency may be the book for you. In FVZA, we get the story that vampires and their under-cousins, the zombies, have been a cause of social concern in the United States since the first ships arrived from Europe. Issue #1 of FVZA gives much of the background and history of the vampire and zombie problems in the United States and the government organization, the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, that was formed to deal with them. Eventually the vampires and zombies were eradicated through vaccines, and the FVZA was disbanded in the 1970s. Its last director, Dr. Hugo Pecos, continued to train his grandchildren to fight and kill vampires and zombies in anticipation that this problem would once again arise. As you can guess, by the end of issue one vampires and zombies are back in a very menacing way.

The other variant cover to FVZA #1. Click for a larger image.Though the first issue is a lot of background material for the ongoing story, writer David Hine (Spawn) does a great job of piquing your interest right off the bat. He shows his years of comics-writing experience by blending the horror aspects of vampires and zombies with the sociopolitical issues of the Western expansion of the 1800s, the atrocities of WWII, and even our current fears of virus epidemics and domestic terrorism. What makes the story work is Hine’s matter-of-fact attitude towards vampirism and zombiism. He doesn’t spend too much time introducing these two horrors, instead assuming the reader knows what vampires and zombies are and getting on with the conflict in the story. By mixing the classic vampire and zombies with real world issues, Hine lays the ground work for a very chilling, realistic horror story.

The art in FVZA is a team effort, with Roy Allan Martinez on pencil duty and then painted by Kinsuh Loh & Jerry Choo. This collaboration results in some very luscious art work that adds even more to the realism of the story. The full color paintings pop off the page and help to draw the reader into the world of FVZA. The vampires especially seem more supernatural and powerful in this painted format than if they had just been inked and colored more traditionally.

If you are looking for a well written, substance filler horror story then FVZA may be the book for you. You get all your fang-gnashing, brain-eating kicks, along with some underlying social commentary that doesn’t distract you from the fun and action of a good horror story. Though the book does have a higher price of $4.99, you do get 56 pages of content. Considering Marvel just raised their standard books to $3.99 and issue for less pages, this is a good deal. |Ryan Parker

Click here for a preview of FVZA, courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

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