"Chastity #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Marc Andreyko
Illustrated by Dave Acosta
2014, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 9th, 2014
Chastity was your typical high school student. She was a talented gymnast until she tore her ACL, then she became a bookworm, gobbling up every paperback she could get her hands on, including the latest vampire craze. When she was given the opportunity to meet the author, Alyce Stonecliff, she jumped at the chance. It turns out that Alyce wrote such a great vampire book because she's one herself. Surprise! Her and Chastity get into it and blood is spilled. Oh, and it's the 1980s.
The first issue of Chastity takes a while to get going. There are 22 pages of story here and the vampire isn't revealed until page 15. The previous two thirds of the book are dedicated the Chastity's boring life story. You find out how her mom was overbearing and pushed her to pursue Olympic gold to follow in her footsteps. This eventually drove a wedge between them when Chastity had her injury. Her dad is pretty non-existent, spending most of his time at work. Her little brother has asthma. That's it really. I don't know the full history of the character as this is just the latest incarnation, but does all that matter? By the time you get to the end of the issue, there have been some pretty drastic changes and a lot of this background on her family members is rendered obsolete.
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The idea that a vampire would write a story about her own kind is interesting, although not unheard of. The unsuccessful Kickstarter for Varney the Vampire had a similar idea, albeit much more crude. I wonder if any other bloodsuckers are out there similarly documenting their exploits. What if J.K. Rowling was really a witch?
Although the comic takes place in 1985, you wouldn't know it from the setting. Granted, you don't see any cellphones or laptop computers, but it looks like any other basic high school girl's life. No one says “gnarly” or “radical” or any other slang from back then.
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Where artist Dave Acosta really shines is when the fangs come out. It's an abrupt change in Alyce. She goes from a beautiful woman to an emaciated she-devil, hair going every which way over a snarling, monstrous face. Alyce is a beast, tearing through anyone and anything to get to her prize of Chastity. What follows is brutal. Acosta almost makes up for the lack of action in the first part of the comic with the fast-paced violence in the finale.
Chastity is getting off to a slow start. I would have preferred more time spent on the vampire element and less on the boring details of her family life. Hopefully with that out of the way, the comic can continue on with the girl's new status quo now that she knows vampires are real and are very much interested in the blood coursing through her veins.