By Leroy Douresseaux
January 5, 2010 - 14:00
|FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency #2
FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, a three issue miniseries from writer David Hine (Civil War: X-Men), takes place on an alternate-Earth that is like ours in every way except for two primary differences: (1) the existence of a deadly disease that transforms humans into zombies and (2) the existence of vampires. A new zombie outbreak forces the government to reactivate the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, the long dormant government task force that protected humanity from the blood-sucking, flesh-eating hordes from the Civil War to World War II
As FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency #2 opens, FVZA Agent Landra Pecos and her brother, Vidal, continue to train at the FVZA training academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, under the watchful eye of their grandfather, Dr. Hugo Pecos, who worked on the project that created a vampire vaccine. Vampires and zombies begin to show unexpected behavior, while Dr. Pecos and the administration of the new FVZA disagree over methods of engagement and investigation. In Europe, the ruling vampire cabal, led by Lord Nephilis, plot to stem the American tide against vampires.
[This issue includes a preview of Radical Comics’ upcoming Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost.]
THE LOWDOWN: One doesn’t have to read too many pages into a David Hine-written comic book to realize that Hine is superbly skilled in this medium. His talent is not so much in creating imaginative scenarios (at which he is also quite good), but in creating plausible, compelling character drama out of the most outlandish scenarios. FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency is certainly outlandish and bizarre in the tradition of oddball science fiction and horror comics. Hine’s ability to find the heart of the character in the midst of the utterly fantastic and far-fetched makes him the J.J. Abrams of comics.
Hine’s success here is also in large measure to the graphic storytelling of artists Roy Allan Martinez and Wayne Nichols. Martinez and Nichols can visualize the gory excesses of this story, but do so without decompressing the story so much that they would drain it of energy. The composition of each panel hits that key moment that allows it to connect with another panel and convey action and drama in a way that both moves the narrative and grabs the reader. Painters Kinsun Loh and Jerry Choo finish the art by creating moods and accentuating character, sometimes in broad strokes and sometimes with subtle nuance. That is why FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency is more than just another slickly-produced vampire-zombie concept. It transforms monster melodrama into compelling drama.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers missing Marvel Comics’ excellent Blade series (from a few years ago) will find joy in the superb FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency.
Featuring covers by Clint Langley and Yang Xueguo:
Diamond Code – Langley cover: SEP090957
Diamond Code – Xueguo cover: SEP090958
Based on the website, fvza.org, created by Richard S. Dargan