- Written by: Mark Russell
- Art by: Dave Wachter
- Colors by: Dee Cunniffe
- Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
- Cover art by: Valerio Giangiordano, Chris O’Halloran
- Cover price: $4.99
- Release date: November 16, 2022
Blade: Vampire Nation #1 sets up a murder mystery where Blade is tasked with finding the powerbrokers behind an assassination attempt designed to kill Dracula and destabilize the new Vampire Nation.
Is It Good?
Blade: Vampire Nation #1 is boring. Read on, if you choose, but if you want a single takeaway from this comic, it’s boring.
Dracula and his vampiric council rule the blossoming nation established near the radioactive remains of Chernobyl. One day, a group of highly-paid, human mercenaries break into a technologically secured sleeping vault and kill the Corvis, a member of Dracula’s ruling council, killing themselves in the process.
Blade, the newly appointed Sheriff of the Vampire Nation, is informed by Dracula that Corvis was secretly resting in Dracula’s crypt as a security measure, meaning Drcuala was the true target. Now, Blade must find who paid the mercenaries and bring the masterminds to justice.
A few pieces of this story are mildly interesting. We get a look at the day-to-day life of vampires within a sovereign nation. We see how humans “co-exist” within the said nation. And we get an understanding of power struggles and elitist mentalities within the confines of a political thriller.
On a positive note, Wachter’s art is excellent. The vampire designs are interesting, and the attack on the crypt is gripping.
What doesn’t work? First, no human in their right mind would voluntarily want to work in the Vampire Nation. No matter how bad your job prospects are in any other country, humans are under constant threat of death, so it makes no sense for humans to willingly volunteer to work in that nation versus somewhere else. Russell goes out of his way to dig deep into building out the world in this comic but fails to sell this point as believable.
Next, Blade is a stiff, wooden, bland detective who barely shows any of his detectings and occasionally drops a tough word or two. He’s about as engaging here as a cardboard cutout, and at no time is Blade in any danger from the perpetrators of the assassination. The stakes (no pun intended) are non-existent.
All of this leads to the big twist ending, which lands with about as much impact as a pillowcase filled with warm air. Dracula’s power is more consolidated than the public believes, which should surprise absolutely nobody.
In the end, what does this issue really do? It gives you a peek behind the curtain of the day-to-day workings of the Vampire Nation wrapped in a low-tension murder mystery.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces
Blade: Vampire Nation #1 gives readers an informational tour of the inner workings of Dracula’s Vampire Nation, wrapped in a bland, low-tension murder mystery. The art is excellent, but the story lacks stakes, urgency, or energy beyond the prologue.