THE DARKLING (Graphic Novel review)


The Darkling is a character that was first featured in several Webcomics from Futurius (now known as DANN COMICS). In late 2008, a print miniseries was published. Six issues written and drawn by Chris J. Powers. Here’s the official series solicitation:

From the dimly lit streets of night-time London to the treacherous forests of Transylvania, The Darkling is a whirlwind tour of the nightly activities of Vampires in all their forms! Follow the zany misadventures of The Darkling, a 21 year old blue-skinned Vampiress as she crosses paths with ShadowVamps, mad scientists, Anti-Cthulhu’s, Fashion-Conscious Vampire-Slayin’ Teenage Ninja-Girls, superhero Vampires, Frankenstein monsters, werewolves, albino Ice-Vamps and the dreaded lord of the undead himself, COUNT DRACULA! It’s “Bridget Jones” meets “Interview With The Vampire” in this madcap fantasy comedy drama!

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Well, it is! First, I will admit that the format of the comic takes some getting used to. Every issue is printed “sideways,” so that instead of holding it open and reading from left to right, you have to turn it sideways and read from top to bottom. But once you get past that, you should be able to easily enjoy the stories.

The artwork is very unique, in a good way. It sort of looks like computerized animation stills. And one aspect of the series that I particularly enjoy is the RANDOM VAMP-FACTS that pop-up throughout the series.

“All Vampires are obsessive-compulsive. Fact!”

“There has never been a case of a squirrel becoming a Vampire. This is because ALL squirrels are actually Vampires.”

“Vamps dig the beach. Even if they didn’t before they became Vampires. It’s all about the Summer vibe.”

“Vampires are afraid of the dark. Not really.”

The lead character, “D”, is surprisingly relatable, for a blue-skinned Vampire. D really just wants to have a good time. And this series shows what happens as she goes out into the night, looking for something to keep her occupied (aside from window-shopping, since all dept. stores are closed @ night).

The first issue gets off to a somewhat slow start, in my opinion, as it’s mostly just D out by herself, then she gets randomly attacked by some big flying creature, called a Shadowvamp (it’s never made expressly clear exactly what it is), which she tries to defeat, and ends up keeping as her pet.

But things pick up by the second issue, as we meet D’s best friends, two other female Vampires named Mindee & Agee, as they come up against a group of young women referred to as the VAMPIRE-SLAYIN’ FASHION-CONSCIOUS NINJA-GIRLS, who are determined to kill the Vampires, but are incredibly incompetent @ it.

I think issues #4 & 5 are my favorites of the series. In #4 we see a Vampire Wedding, as Aggie is getting married to a mysterious “Master Vampire”. Unfortunately the groom’s mother doesn’t approve of this marriage, and neither does his 4 other brides. Plus, one of the Ninja-Girls returns to attempt to crash the wedding. It’s a very fun issue. Issue #5 is a bit more serious. Starting off light, with D and her friends going snowboarding, while the Ninja-Girls make ANOTHER attempt @ assassination, and then D stumbles upon a Vampire funeral.

In the final issue, D meets the big guy himself, Count Dracula (& his sons).

All in all, a very enjoyable series, and each issue stands on it’s own as a complete story, while providing a larger narrative if you read all 6 issues. There are also various extras in some of the issues, including backup features and character sketches. I would recommend it to any comic-book fan who wants something a little different than the typical superheroes from Marvel and DC.

All 6 issues of The Darkling are also collected into a trade paperback for $9.99, and can be ordered here:



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