Impaler: Vol. 2
by William Harms, Matt Timson (Top Cow, 2010)

The second volume of Impaler, in which Vlad Dracula returns from limbo to find New York -- and soon, North America -- overrun with vampires, is something of a letdown.

Yeah, I remember, I recommended the first volume in the series fairly strongly. But by the second, the story seems tame.

That doesn't mean there's less violence and bloodshed. Oh no, there's plenty of that. It's just that the story has settled into a fairly predictable pattern, wherein various people run afoul of ruthless bloodsuckers and die. Vlad himself makes lots of weighty pronouncements, and his cop sidekick complains all the time. And, maybe it's just me, but the vampires have stopped looking like vampires to my eye. Maybe if vampires had mated with squid....

The best part of the story doesn't involve vampires at all, just a mother and child on the run, still far from the inevitable mayhem that's spreading across the country, and the kindly old man they encounter. That particular subplot takes a nasty turn I didn't expect, and it speaks strongly to the various degrees of human nature in times of crisis.

Otherwise, the book didn't hold my interest. Maybe it will hold yours.

review by
Tom Knapp

2 April 2011

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