Hey, Sleepwalkers. Been a while, etc. Hope you’ve been enjoying my articles on Man Cave Daily. If you haven’t been reading them, you can go ahead. It shouldn’t take you too long.
Instead of another installment of “DC’s [MONTH] Solicits: Decoded!”, I thought it might be better to shine a spotlight on one of the two titles we’re losing in April: Joshua Hale Fialkov’s I, Vampire.
To be fair, we’re losing another title, DC Universe: Presents, but as much as I hate to say it, aside from the opening story by Paul Jenkins, it hasn’t really been worth it. That Deadman story was pretty great, though.
Anyway, I, Vampire is out, and that’s a shame. It was often surprisingly funny, always unsurprisingly brutal, and full of little twists, turns, and character moments that made reading it a treat month in and month out. I can even point to the exact moment I went from “This is pretty good” to “This is a must-read.” It was right here:
It was something as simple as those little identifying captions, something as irreverent as “Vampiric Horde: Murdery Jerks,” that made me realize this wasn’t something as simple as a horror comic. It was a horror comic that was bothering to take the time to build characters, establish a certain tone, and that tone was this:
It’s that kind of casual acceptance of the existence of vampires that I like. Fialkov isn’t wasting a single panel trying to justify that vampires are real. Everybody takes it as a given, and we can move on to great little moments like the one above.
I guess that was the problem with I, Vampire: you can have Batman guest-star, you can have Apollo and Midnighter guest-star, you can have big vampire vs. zombie mummy fights–but what makes the book isn’t the big moments, it’s the small ones. And I guess small moments don’t carry a book, even a book as beautiful as I, Vampire. Seriously, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo knocked it out of the park each and every month. Just look at pages like this:
Seriously. Dude can make a Super Soaker look intimidating.
But, the numbers simply weren’t there. I mean, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. got canned, and it was selling higher than I, Vampire. The only books selling lower were Blue Beetle (cancelled with Frankenstein), DC Universe Presents (cancelled with I, Vampire), and Grifter (cancelled with Frankenstein). It’s all money, guys, and DC has a responsibility to their bottom line. I don’t blame them for culling titles that aren’t performing, even if they were this good.
So, Rest In Peace, I, Vampire. Hope the crew gets to go on to bigger and better things. Sorrentino’s already pegged to move to Green Arrow, which sounds intriguing. As for Fialkov, he got 19 issues to play around with, which is more than a lot of guys can say. As to what he should do next…
Wish List: Joshua Hale Fialkov Edition
There are only a handful of books I want to see Fialkov on (on which I want to see Fialkov?). They all play to his affinity for the shadowy corners of the DC Universe, his ability to merge the mundane with the fantastic, and his wry humor. In no particular order:
1. The Question
Okay, so the Question got turned into a crazy mouthless magic dude by the Circle of Eternity. I don’t care. You hear me? I don’t care. I don’t care if he’s magic. I don’t care if he’s immortal. I don’t care if he’s actually a lesbian cop, or if he’s the zen warrior from the O’Neil days, or if he’s the crazy tripped out shaman from the Vietch mini.
Because whatever Question it is, Fialkov would nail it, no question (pun not intended). He’s demonstrated an ability to weave magic, ritual, and history into his stories, which would come in handy for the DCNü version or the Veitch version of the Question. Even when he was dealing with superpowered vampire sorcerers, his fights had a grittiness and groundedness to them. Some of that was doubtless helped by Sorrentino (and guys, can you imagine Sorrentino on the Question?), but I think Fialkov could apply it to both Renee Montoya and Denny O’Neil’s Vic Sage. Most importantly, he has the kind of tongue-in-cheek charm that always set Denny O’Neil’s Question apart from, say Batman. So, yeah. Fialkov on The Question definitely makes the Wish List.
2. Justice League Dark
As I’ve stated previously, I really want to like JLD. I don’t need to go into too much detail here, save to say that Fialkov would be perfect for this title for the same reasons mentioned above. Plus, he’d be a temporary countermeasure while we find a way to stop Jeff Lemire from getting his tentacles all over the “Dark” family.
Okay Sleepwalkers, I’ll level with you: this post was primarily an excuse for me to talk about how much I want Joshua Hale Fialkov to write The Question and Spoiler. He’d knock it out of the park, guys, come on! If he could make Tig such a great character in the pages of I, Vampire, imagine what he could do to a young woman if she was the focus of the book! Imagine what he could do if he got to be more lighthearted, what he could do with his sense of humor without any fetters!
If we can’t get Bryan Q. Miller on her, let’s get another triple-A triple name! Who’s with me? Anyone?
Until next time, Sleepwalkers.