What comes to your mind when you hear the word Vampire? Immortal, bloodthirsty, nicely dressed, maybe sexy (if you are into that stuff). For me, it is Popular. From movies to games, books to comic books, they are everywhere. Particularly in the latter, in the past few years, there has been a surge of vampire-related content, all with their unique touch. Vampires are present not only in Marvel and DC but on Image, Vault, Scout, Aftershock, and ComiXology. It’s like every publisher wants a piece of the pie.
What makes vampires so appealing to readers and creators? Their versatility. You can create a whole new world by changing a small aspect of the monster while maintaining its essence. Just to name a few examples, we have seen another kind of vampire in American Vampire, their whole historical aspect in Killadelphia, and vampire superheroes in The All-Nighter. There are many more stories, each with its different traits. Some put the vampires in the spotlight, making the story all about them. Others use them as a part of a bigger universe, full of creatures and supernatural stuff. The latest addition to this list is Cult of Ikarus.
Cult of Ikarus tells the story of Hunter, a young woman looking for answers regarding the disappearance of her parents. Following her only clue, she arrives at a bookstore, where she meets Remy, the bookkeeper. He appears to have all the answers she needs. But be careful what you wish for because this mystery involves vampires and the Cult of Ikarus, a millennia-old cult.
That’s the general premise, but throughout the issue, we get to know Hunter, her tough past, and where she stands now. Also, there is an exciting combination of mystery, horror, and vampires. It starts slow, giving the reader a lot of apparently confusing information. But, in the second half, we have cool fight scenes, tense moments, and lots of blood. It is a perfect balance between characterization and comic book fun.
I wanted to address the vampire aspect following what I said in the introduction. Although the market is overflowing with vampire books that may be too much for the readers, I believe this book holds itself without depending on the vampire aspect. Nevertheless, the following issues will determine if this continues and will show the differentiating aspect of this book in comparison to the others.
Is the public demanding more vampire stories? I don’t think so. But that isn’t a bad thing! One of the best tips for writers is to write what you want, not what you think the people are expecting. And the advantage with vampires, and other mainstream creatures, is that people believe they’ve seen it all, and that is where you can surprise them the most. And I believe this story has the potential to surprise many readers out there.
Leaving that aside, this first issue introduces engaging characters, a captivating world, and a lot of mystery around the protagonist, which leaves the reader with many questions. On top of it all, the book ends in a plot twist and a cliffhanger. Also, the issue is perfect for new readers. It’s the beginning of a new story, a new world, and the protagonist is relatable and layered. Regardless of the great fights and monsters, you want to know more about Hunter. Cult of Ikarus could be the book that makes you fall in love with vampires. Even for readers reading multiple vampire books, I encourage you to give it a try.