Night Club is a new series under the Millarworld label at Image Comics that features vampires, art by Juanan Ramirez, and a sexy $1.99 price tag. It also runs 31 pages, which makes this comic a steal, but like with all reviews at AIPT, we must ask the question: is it good?
Night Club is an intriguing start that feels cinematic in tone and pace. Mark Millar pens this comic, and it introduces us to a believable set of characters in a modern world not too different from our own. We’re introduced early on to three high school kids, one of whom wants to become a YouTube star. 17 year-old Danny has decided parkour is the cool thing to film; nearly instantaneously, he’s falling off a building and breaking every bone in his body.
Eight pages into Night Club #1, it’s apparent Millar and Ramirez are taking their time with this story, which is rare in most modern comics. Many are forced to speed things along with 20 pages, but with more pages and a cheaper cover price, you’ll find yourself patient enough to soak it in. Thankfully page 9 kicks things into gear, and the vampire element is introduced.
Once the vampire stuff starts, you get the feel of a movie montage. That’s because we see Owen learn the ropes of being a vampire from a mysterious character. His goals seem legit enough, and soon the narrative is off to the races showing us all vampires’ fantastic abilities. The power set isn’t necessarily new, but it’s unique enough from most vampire stories where they are strong and fast, and that’s about it.
Funny enough, the pace is slow until the very end, when Millar and Ramirez drop a major development on the reader. It’s unexpected since Owen seems to be learning slowly, but it reveals a cool costume and an intriguing lead-in for issue #2.
Ramirez’s art is exceptional at capturing realistic environments and realistic character acting. The fantastical elements come through thanks to the realism, making two vampires climbing up a skyscraper look natural yet otherworldly. There’s an unmistakable grittiness as if we’re seeing a world that’s a bit used and lived in. Colors by Fabiana Mascolo are good, with a natural look and feel. Striking use of color to embellish moments, like a vampire entering a hospital room with splashes of yellow, add intensity to scenes.
This issue does feel a bit light on the larger story, keeping readers in the dark too much in regards to the mysterious vampire that gives Owen his powers. What he says makes enough sense, but you’re also unclear on how vampires work in the world or if he’s to be trusted. Owen, however, seems to trust him implicitly, which is convenient.
Night Club #1 is a good introduction to a vampire hero starting a career that may end up being part of a vampire super team. That concept is intriguing while being delivered in a well-paced, cinematic, and believable first issue.
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