If there’s something that we don’t need more of right now it is vampire stories. And by vampire stories I mean ANY story involving vampires. Whether the vampires are blood sucking villains, prey of a skilled hunter, or teenage heart throbs, I think it’s safe to say we’ve pretty much seen it all vampire-wise. Instead of being the exception, Vitriol the Hunter #1, written by Billy Martin and Brent Allen with Billy Martin also on art duties, very much confirms this fact.
Vitriol the Hunter #1 starts with a Kevin Smith-esque use of captions to bombard the reader with details on the background and setting. Instead of drip feeding us the important details through dialogue or visual clues Martin and Allen just give everything away. Vitriol the Hunter #1 keeps nothing in reserve. There’s no thrill of discovery – it’s just all spoon fed to you
Right from the get go we know several things: Basilika City is overrun by vampires due to a government scheme, the scheme was devised by a greedy scientist, and that scientist’s son, Nimirus Vitriol, now hunts these creatures to restore his family name. And that’s really as deep as the story gets. Vitriol, who was probably envisioned as some sort of single-minded bad-ass, comes across as painfully one-dimensional.
Although I applaud Martin and Allen’s attempts to make their vampire hunting romp original through the use of a futuristic setting it’s really not well executed. For starters, it feels like they just downright plagiarised Joss Whedon’s Fray by copying the whole future slayer thing except that their futuristic setting is barely realised or fleshed out. Vitriol the Hunter #1 is essentially just set in the present but with laser guns and flying cars.
Accompanying this sinking ship of a story is the art by Billy Martin which leaves much to be desired. I quite liked Martin’s cover art but his interior art work really isn’t up to scratch. All the panels look rushed and lack back ground detail and some of the panels are just downright painful to look at. Characters are often drawn in unnatural and awkward positions and in just two pages it becomes obvious Martin would benefit greatly from some life drawing classes.
Vitriol the Hunter #1 is very much a comic I read so you wouldn’t have to. It’s energetic but uninspired and in its attempts to be original it just comes across as more cliché. In short it’s really not worth your time or money.