Review – Chastity #1 (Dynamite Comics)

Chastity01-Cov-LupacchinoPublisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artists: Dave Acosta, Thiago Ribeiro
Released: 9th July 2014

Ah, the nineties. Home to many an idea both brilliant and bad – it gave us grunge, tamagotchis, Power Ranges, terrible haircuts, and (perhaps slightly more relevantly) Chaos! Comics. Back then Chastity, was a punk-rock vampire assassin, which pretty much sums up the decades attitude towards vampires.

Now, we’re in a new era, where vampires are – a few glittering expceptions aside – totes romantic, completely bloodless, and all sparkly in the sunlight. Not exactly the best of places to be in, and Marc Andreyko from the get-go has stated that he’s looking to change that aesthetic, to move back towards the blood-soaked melodrama of Ann Rice, updated for a new era.

We’re introduced to wannabe gymnast Chastity Marks via baby-to-adolescent photo montage, with a fairly spot-on teenage narration overlain. As she gets older, and thanks to an knee injury, the opportunity to be a gymnast dries up, she becomes obsessed of a particular batch of vampire novels written by an enigmatic author who somehow inspires rabid loyalty in her fans. Quite how it pans out from there is part of the fun, so I’m not going to spoil it, but suffice to say that Andreyko has been rather successful in his mission – infusing this new interpretation of the vampire assassin’s origin story with a lovely twist of irony that’s at once bitingly satirical of the current ‘campire’ trend, as well as something of a love song as well.

The art is solid, although Acosta doesn’t really get anything interesting to draw until about half-way through the book. His vampires draw from pretty much every facet of more blooded mythologies, a cocktail of Buffy/Angel, Lestat and Blade, with not a single sparkle in sight, making for a pleasingly fresh-feeling take on our blood-sucking cousins. The rest of it slowly devolves into becoming appropriately broody, and the final few pages showcase a real talent both from writer and artist to build tension, and execute an action sequence. It’s not strictly speaking scary, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be – the final panel is gorgeously played, if a tiny little bit cliche.

Overall, it’s a solid reboot of a relatively obscure character, and between this, and the newly released Chaos! #1, it looks like they’re going to be going in some fairly interesting directions. Not necessarily one to rush out and buy now, now, now, but certainly worth a look, and one to keep an eye on going forward.

Rating: 3/5.

The writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24

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