All hail Xarus!
DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED
EXTREME SPOILER WARNING!!!
Janus first son of Dracula watches as the various vampire factions arrive from all over the globe. They have been summoned by his father to a meeting a grave importance. He greets each faction’s leaders and later attends the meeting itself.
At the meeting some voice a problem with how Dracula rules when he makes his appearance he is killed by his second son Xarus and his allies. Janus can do nothing as he is paralyzed by shock and fear. Xarus tries to unify the various vampire factions but is unsuccessful as the two most powerful factions leave, warriors or Kreig and Claw sect.
Meanwhile he still offers fealty to those who wish to join him. Those opposed rally around Janus who is still in shock over what has happened. He tries to talk with his brother and ends up being propositioned the seat of king by Xarus’s lover Alyssa, the leader of the siren sect. He is unsure if her offer is genuine or not. Once he meets with his brother he learns his plan and the technology at his disposal to allow vampires to walk in the daylight. As a show of his power he tells Janus of his allies attack on the seemingly invincible Krieg sect at the break of dawn using his tech. They are victorious which leaves Janus to ponder what he can do to oppose Xarus if he has the cunning and guile to attack and defeat the mighty Krieg sect.
Upon departing Janus is approached again by Alyssa the leader of siren sect. She tells him she has plans of her own to remove Xarus from power. She send three of her top vamps to seduce and kill him.
Janus returns to his would be allies and lets them know what has happened. He consults a clairvoyant Vampire and decides he will seek alliance from Claw sect to oppose his brother. The vamps after sleeping with Xarus try to kill him but instead he makes an example of one of them by killing her. Janus departs for claw sect’s headquarters.
Xarus returns to alyssa questioning her loyalty while carrying the head of her would be assassin. Janus arrives and gets an audience with an old teacher from claw sect, his skills are rusty but they agree to assist him.
Xarus and his allies await the answer of the other factions when they are surrounded by claw sect. Janus confronts his brother
only for claw sect to turn on him. Xarus reveals they have been his allies from day 1. Confused and outnumbered and outsmarted Xarus prepares for dawn to come and wipe the intruders out. Alyssa wants to kiss Prince Janus goodbye. In doing so she slips him one of Xarus tech medallions which enable them to walk in the sun. His allies turn to ash and he does not. Janus uses their shock to his advantage and cuts a path through them to make his escape. Xarus is unconcerned as with Claw sect as his allies he is crowned the new lord of the vampires!
The art was very fitting for the story, it was dark and gritty which helped illustrate and give depth to the more grotesque scenes like be-headings and impalement.
The contrasting colors especially the glowing luminescent eyes also added to the overall feel of the story.
Characters- despite what other reviews say I loved the characters here. Never cared much for Dracula so his death was just an afterthought than anything else, easily Alyssa and Xarus are the two most striking forces in this story. Both dont come off as
stereotypically evil as one would first expect. Xarus despite being the younger son and
expected to be incompetent pulls off a successful coup and not just simply to be king of the vampires BUT to literally take vampires as a race in a whole new direction. He also proves himself a worthy successor and tactician which builds as the story pans out.
Alyssa is the wildcard, she appears at first to be Xarus first and most loyal ally BUT seems to be scheming to undermine him from the very start. Her duplicity may be a form of self preservation BUT it would be moot since Xarus had already won. Why save Janus since she already has the winning horse on her side? Does she really want to see Janus as king? Or does she simply not want Xarus? Does she want them to kill each other and supplant them all? Everything is a mystery which can hold so much promise IF handled right.
Janus is our introductory character and while he does an adequate job he’s not interesting enough for you to root for him. His motivations are non existent and frankly if he died I could not care less he’s just so bland and boring.
The vampires sect where all fleshed out well enough given the amount of panel time dedicated to them. They felt diverse yet similar enough to warrant a need for unification. Lord knows they are a million times more interesting that anything in the deathly boring eclipse movie lol.
Janus the character we the readers are to feel the most connected to is bland….about as bland as Edward culen…..yeah he’s that lame, one dimensional and sulky. YAWN!
Another problem was the one shot…..I’m not sure how sales will stack up it would have been a better bet to have this as the first issue of the new x-men series OR run a few pages in the new x-men series as the vampire tale their plays out. I’m just not sure how many people will but this in light of the masses love for Twilight. (Shrugs)
Easily a 4.5/5 read it was engaging despite a boring lead and it’s essential for what’s to come in the new X-men title. Check It!