Impaler #3 Review

impaler3At Broken Frontier is my review for this week’s Impaler #3 from the fine folks at Image. What’s it all about you ask? Basically, Vlad the Impaler comes to our century to help the overwhelmed military kill as many vampires as possible. This has been a great series so far, and certainly not one for the kids. Blood and profanity flow freely, and it looks superbly gothic thanks to artist Matt Timson. This is the kind of comic you read while listening to Metallica, if you’re into that sort of thing. Here’s a peek at my review.

Vlad’s stoic resolve seem to project an aura of confidence, but never arrogance. Harms writes him as the only man to rely upon to escape the bloody mess and his old school, low-tech existence doesn’t jar at all with the gung-ho military boys. His inclusion is more than a gimmick, but as he’s connected so deeply to the menace attacking his new home, he’s essentially the subtle driving force behind this series. Vlad appears very little, considering it’s his name on the cover, yet when he does appear it’s always at just the right moment.

Read the rest here and see a few pages of the art here.

Impaler #3 Preview

IMP003_complete_Page_01Top Cow’s gorgeously gruesome vampire chiller, Impaler continues its blood letting, with issue 3 out on May 28.

It’s written by William Harms, with beautifully moody art by Matt Timson, and focuses on a snow covered Washington being overrun by vamps, with an ancient hero, Vlad the Impaler and an overpowered military as America’s last chance for survival.

In the third issue Vlad’s brother, Mircea shows up, and he ain’t friendly.

Preview pages can be seen below and my interview with Harms can be found here.







Impaler #2 Review

impaler002_mediumTop Cow has done it again. Picking their projects wisely they appear determined to create books that are distinctive in a spandex-driven market. Impaler is their latest high concept book, to use Hollywood slang. The set up is this: blizzard in New York, adrift freighter discovered with dead crew, vampires descend upon the city, cop teams up with ageless vamp killer Vlad Tempes, military struggles to keep up. Thankfully the Cow throw a handy guide in their titles these days, so this is a good place to jump in as any, in case you missed the first issue. This ish begins with two archaeologists arguing over the find of a corpse in a Moroccan dig site, while the object of their discussion seems to stir.

Three weeks later we discover how really desperate the U.S military are. With the vamps gaining ground with alarming speed soldiers are ordered to take them down at any means, even at the cost of civilian lives.

This is a movie waiting to be made. Less of a vampire film than a disaster one, if made, it could easily sit next to Cloverfield or I Am Legend or 28 Days Later. There is a feeling of desperation running throughout the issue, but it isn’t swamped by it. This disaster very much has a human face amongst the devilish horde. Vlad perhaps unwisely, gives his new partner, Detective Victor Dailey, a second chance at life, after receiving radiation poisoning, and Lieutenant George Wagner has a conflict of interest when faced with the insurmountable odds. Finishing off with a scene that ties in to the awakening corpse of the intro, things look unsurprisingly bleaker for our band of heroes in the future issues.

Writer William Harms and artist Matt Timson are on a winner here. It’s obvious they understand one another and are building something eerily incredible. Harms knows when to let Timson unleash his blood soaked art upon us, and when to quiet things down (slightly) although every page is brimming with sweaty intensity, as well as very impressive art.

The vampire creatures are a great work of design. Not resembling the typical neck biters from pop culture, Timson gives the ghouls more of a zombie feel, with a touch of Venom thrown in for good measure. Their blank eyes, shadow like tendrils and scorched skin make for a creepy visual combo. Timson is skilled in every area of art that the comic book page requires. The subtle earthen colours of the opener to the surveillance footage shown to the military to Dailey’s hallucinations that are suitably ethereal. He shows he has the mad skills needed for this mad tale. With Stjepan Sejic and now Matt Timson, Top Cow should give their talent scouts a hearty pat on the back.

Be aware that Impaler wisely carries a Mature Audience stamp for graphic content and profanity and blood are both plentiful. It is a gritty, harsh adventure and one that has me hooked.

For a preview of this ish, go here.

Get Impaled For Free

impalertpb_cvrTop Cow obviously believe in this vampire project from writer William Harms and artist Matt Timson. So much so that they’ve given the series its own dedicated website, where you can read the entire first issue on-line for free. Woo hoo! Free! The series lasted three issues at Image before it finished, but now the entire story, with the three never-before-seen last issues, is now available as a TPB from Top Cow. Plus a new ongoing series kicks off in December.

Sure, there have been many vampire stories over the years, or even, centuries. However Impaler has a nice twist. It centres on the original vamp (and historical figure)  – Vlad Tepes AKA Vlad the Impaler, as an anti-hero killing vamps as they overrun modern day New York, and the world. Expects lots of blood and action. Take a peek at a few moody Jae-Lee-like random pages below.




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