Review: Day Men Vol.1

Day_Men_v1Day Men Vol. 1 TPB

Writers: Matt Gagnon, Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Brian Stelfreeze

SOLICITATION:

For thousands of years, the world has been controlled by the “50 Families,” a secret network of vampire covens engaged in a timeless struggle for power. But when the sun rises, the vampires are forced to employ the services of a human who acts as their daytime fixer and protector. Trained for centuries to be the mortal soldiers of their vampire employers, the Day Men go forth at sunrise, alone into the world, to do the bidding of their sleeping benefactors. Collects issues #1-4.

Day_Men_v1047REVIEW:

Vampires are one of the families of characters that have a lot of preconceived notions about them. Gagnon and Nelson don’t fall into the trap that so many less skilled writers have fallen into by trying to define the vampires at the very beginning. The story sometimes wanders from the main character, David Reid, but always returns to him after giving us a peek at how deadly this world of his actually is. Only once is the transition jarring, but the story is crafted well enough that I quickly forgot about it. The characters are fleshed out enough that I actually care about most of them, even the rival Day Man that seems to be out to kill David. I worry about Casey Kennedy, the Virgo family accountant, who seems the most expendable of the supporting cast, but the body count is one where each death makes sense in the story and not a single one seems to be random, serving no purpose.

Day_Men_v1073Brian Stelfreeze is one of those artists that people forget about when talking about great comic book artists, primarily because we mostly see his work on covers, and his interiors have been limited to smaller publishers and not a major character from a major publisher. He does fight scenes like a choreographer. His women are exotic and seductive, especially appropriate for a comic about vampires. He carries the horror scenes very nicely, giving only the information needed, and letting our imagination fill in the most horrific details. If you like this seek out his last regular series, Matador, published almost ten years ago through DC’s Wildstorm imprint.

Colorist Darrin Moore is a great choice for Stelfreeze. He mimics Stelfreeze’s own color sensibilities and takes them further by toning down to local color in scenes that do not need the extra drama.

Buy this book, buy the individual back issues and add the title to you pull list at your local comic shop. Stop beating yourself up for not buying it sooner, and get started loving this book.