"Dark Fang #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Miles Gunter
Illustrated by Kelsey Shannon
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 17th, 2018
Valla the vampire is pissed off. Her food supply has become affected by climate change, causing one of her fangs to turn a dark black. She fears that she'll end up starving if the humans kill themselves by destroying the environment, so she's taken things into her own hands by attacking the fossil fuel industry. She's not stopping there though. Valla is going to the top, right to the highest office in the country and she's going to leave one helluva mark.
Dark Fang grabs you with an amazing pitch. It's a vampire fighting climate change. It takes a little while to get going, but this issue is where it really hits its stride and begins to deliver on its premise. Valla isn't necessarily doing this because she wants to. I mean, I'm sure she gets some enjoyment out of all the bloodshed she causes, but she's doing this because she needs to in order to survive.
|Click images to enlarge|
Valla is almost too powerful. We haven't seen any other vampires in Dark Fang yet, so there's nothing to compare her to. That being said, she has displayed just about every attribute that creatures of the night have been known to have, including super strength, flight, and the ability to hypnotize people at a glance. She has encountered virtually no challenge up until this point, effortlessly taking whatever she wants.
In this issue, Valla wants blood and she gets it in buckets. There are two notable kill scenes in Dark Fang #3. The first is rather incredible as she goes after a senator, presumably with ties to the oil industry. She is ruthless in her actions, although we don't actually see the violence. That happens off panel, but we hear it and we see the aftermath, allowing our minds to fill in the gory details.
Valla appears clad in white, which, coupled with her pale skin and blonde hair, creates an angelic visage, although she is definitely the opposite. Her face is one of confidence and intelligence. She knows that there's nothing this senator can do to hurt her and she's going to enjoy taking him apart, both literally and figuratively. This builds to a final shot of her mouth in a slight grin, showing her now blackened fang.
|Click image to enlarge|
Then there's the other big bloody scene. I won't spoil it here, however I will say that I didn't see it coming. It's set up very well, with writer Miles Gunter presenting the opposing view of Valla's crusade through a television broadcast. Instead of focusing entirely on the speaker, artist Kelsey Shannon goes around the country, showing people watching the speech from their homes, prisons, on the subway, and more. We get the sense that everyone in the United States is glued to a screen to watch this...then it happens.
Shannon frames this beautifully. As with the senator, we don't actually see it happening, but oh man, do we see what the aftermath is. Blood is everywhere as the red contrasts with the bright white lights of the TV cameras. Surrounding this gore and violence are panels featuring all of the viewers as they react to this carnage, each one lit by their corresponding screen, removing most of the color from their faces.
Dark Fang jumps past its brilliant premise with this issue, creating a smart vampire story. It doesn't get too preachy about climate change (although it wouldn't hurt because it is without a doubt real and a very pressing issue facing not only our country, but the world). Like classic George Romero movies, it delivers on its message through the lens of horror.