After the relative slowness of the last issue, you can’t accuse Paul Cornell of not following through on the promise (or should that be threat?) set up at the beginning of “Vampire State”, and this time out we get the clearest indication yet that he means business. Surprises and twists galore characterise by far the darkest issue of the series yet, and one that makes good on the hints layered earlier throughout the run (with the death of Skrull John and imprisonment of Captain Midlands) that you absolutely cannot take anything for granted with this book. And it’s an indication of just how well-crafted this set of characters is that we care so much when things start to go wrong.
Which they do, here, in spectacular fashion. Cornell is brutally efficient in showing the vampire army completely devastating the British resistance – to borrow a phrase from a certain TV show he may or may not be connected with, “This isn’t a war – it’s a victory” – and while you know harriet the spy movie it’s the classic “make everything as crappy as possible so that it’s a proper triumph when the fightback occurs”, it’s still shocking to see it happen so quickly and comprehensively. If there’s one thing that stops this feeling quite like a textbook issue (aside from more guest pencils – although Adrian Syaf fits in well, and so long as we’re not losing Kirk altogether I don’t mind the odd fill-in if it keeps the book on time) it’s the almost complete lack of its usual zesty wit – understandable given the circumstances, it’s hardly a time for wisecracks, although Wisdom does at least get one great line about Norman Osborn.
Really, though, this is about setting up the arc’s finale – and the most intriguing aspect of the book’s climax is that it finally opens up the possibility that, in a book that you suspect should probably have been titled MI:13 and Captain Britain free go tell the spartans movie download , we’ll get to see Brian Braddock come properly to the fore for the first time since his brilliant return in #3. Either way, though, Cornell has patiently stacked up the pieces of the storyline – and with a deft flick, begun to send them crashing down. With arresting images throughout – from a 747 to the jaw-dropping final page – this is as compelling as present-day superhero comics get.