March 6, 2013
Judging the New 52: I, Vampire
Based on the first six issues, I was missing one of the best comics of the New 52.
There's not a lot here that's particularly original, but what is here is tight plotting, strong characterisation and wonderfully evocative artwork. It feels like it should be a DC Vertigo title, indeed it's not far into the series when John Constantine pops up - albeit the New 52 version who says things like "bleeding 'eck" and doesn't smoke or drink as much. It also contains a nice guest appearance by Batman, which they probably should have highlighted a bit more - he tends to sell fairly well.
Some industry observers suggested that I, Vampire might be saved the axe due to trade paperback sales. While bookstore sales aren't available, we can see that only 2,586 copies of the first volume were shipped by Diamond Distribution to the comic shop market in the USA, UK and Australia. That's less copies than Green Arrow, Justice League International, All-Star Western and Green Lantern: New Guardians.
Thankfully DC gave Fialkov plenty of notice that they were pulling the plug on his book. This means I, Vampire should receive a proper conclusion and will, down the road, be a great three volume horror comic for future readers to enjoy. Fialkov is certainly landing on his feet, having been picked to replace Geoff Johns at the head of the lucrative Green Lantern franchise.
Sometimes a comic fails because it's simply awful, or redundant, or saddled with poor writing or bad art. Sometimes a comic fails because there's simply no market for it, or its publisher simply fails to find it. I, Vampire is definitely in the latter category - it's a shame it never found its audience, but at least through trade paperbacks readers will have a chance to catch up and enjoy what they did.