Makes its play for “the new Image” status
It’s not blood Manx is after but a child’s very innocence
number and a fuel tank that takes souls, not petrol. This is a different type of vampire, for it’s not blood Manx is after but – slightly nebulous, this – a child’s very innocence, sucking the life out of them and turning them into monsters. acts as a prequel to the novel, and expands upon it; some of this material is stuff cut from the final version of the book.
Drawn in a handsomely scratchy style almost reminiscent of Carlos Ezquerra’s – I particularly liked the cutaway shots of a moving van, showing the five people inside as it trucks down a winding and dangerously remote road – Wraith keeps the tension screwed high, even when all that’s happening is a bunch of people sitting around talking. The first issue introduces us to Manx, who looks like a funeral director with plenty of rodent in his DNA; the second adds a mixed bag of convicts and their jailers, all of whom have mysteries to hide. The result is a hard-edged crime mystery with a very creepy tone and a nicely low-key use of the supernatural.
Indestructible, meanwhile, is a superhero satire of sorts, with geek everyman hero Greg Pincus struggling with girls, crap jobs, and the tyranny of nightclub queues. In this world, superheroes are A-list celebrities, and when Greg’s caught up in a late-night robbery, CCTV sees him rise, seemingly unharmed, after taking a point-blank gunshot to the chest. Is he a new hero? Everyone seems to think so, and Greg sees no immediate reason to disavow them of that belief, grasping a real opportunity to live the lifestyle.
Clearly we’ve got a rather broad satire going on here, with some fairly obvious targets – celebrity culture, mainstream superhero tropes, a few side-swipes at reality TV – taking it straight in the mush. The sporadically pleasing art is a little like John McCrea’s, or perhaps Glenn Fabry at his most cartoony, but it’s the writer we really have to watch here, for this is the debut book from Darby Pop, a new IDW imprint created by TV writer Kline and well-known editor David Wohl. We’re cautiously interested, but not overly so on the meagre strengths of the slightly needy, predictable