In author Joshua Hale Fialkov's rad horror comic I, Vampire, bloodsuckers both good and bad regularly run afoul of the DC Universe's superheroes. For example, the series' heroic vampire Andrew Bennett recently had a run-in with Batman, and the upcoming story arc — "Rise of the Vampires" — guest-stars the magic users of Justice League Dark.
Courtesy of DC Comics, here's an exclusive sneak peek at next week's issue of I, Vampire. In this preview, the merciless Mary, Queen of Blood must postpone her plans for world domination thanks to an ancient demon who has jumped out of Andrew's decapitated body. Also, behold the Dark Knight getting the hell out of dodge.
Check out the plot synopsis, some interior pages, and our interview with Joshua below.
I, VAMPIRE #7
Written by: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Pencilled by: Andrea Sorrentino
Inked by: Andrea Sorrentino
Lettered by: DC Lettering
Colored by: Marcelo Maiolo, Andrea Sorrentino
Straight off the shocking events of last issue and continuing the story from this month's JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #7, Andrew Bennett finds himself in a place he never thought he'd reach during his countless decades walking the Earth. But his absence on Earth signals a deadly loss of order in the vampire hierarchy, as the savage attack on humanity he's long feared looks like its coming to pass.
How did you coordinate "Rise of the Vampires" with Justice League Dark author Peter Milligan?
Joshua Hale Fialkov: It was very organic. Peter and I started out with a phone call, laid out what we needed to accomplish, and went back and forth with DC editorial. We're both at big changing points in our series. For serial storytelling in comics, I'm always trying to flip the status quo on its head. We're at an entirely different place in I, Vampire at the end of issue #6, and we'll be somewhere new with issues #8 and #10. With characters like Andrew and Mary, I can go off to some strange places and stay in the spirit of the book. It's not like Superman, who at the end of the day, will always be Superman.
Speaking of Andrew, he was totally decapitated last issue. How does one get out of a barney like that?
Again, that's the great thing about a book like this. I get to cut off my main character's head and have a giant evil demon climb out of his ashes! The book is about vampires, not exactly Andrew Bennett, so I'm making no guarantees he's coming back. I'm a big fan of Mary. Having her taking over as the main character is a pretty awesome option.
What can you tell us about Cain, that rather sinister-looking antagonist up there?
He's not the Biblical Cain, he's the pre-Biblical Cain. He's the evil before we what knew what evil was. In his existence, he has essentially become the first of the vampires. Mary wants to rule the world — Cain wants it all gone. Mary, who's been trying to slaughter all of mankind, is now going, "Whoa! This is not what we discussed! This is guy is ruining everything!" All of the characters are being forced to team up. I love Mary because she's corrupt yet so pure. Her goals are well-intentioned, aside from the whole "murdering people" stuff.
After "Rise of the Vampires," where's I, Vampire heading next?
I, Vampire is a book about love. It's about this relationship with Andrew and Mary. He loves her, but she's his primary antagonist. The first year of the book is about exploring the idea that you love somebody so much, but at the end of the day, you'll have to kill them. Andrew's spent the last 500 years feeling guilty — he essentially killed the woman he loved and turned her into a mass-murdering lunatic. I, Vampire is a redemption story for both characters. (But of course, there's that whole monkey wrench that is Andrew's decapitation!)
But after this, the vampires will face off one of the oldest enemies, the Cult of Van Helsing, which is where the literary Van Helsing comes from. They're this ancient Egyptian cult of vampire hunters who will stop at nothing to eradicate every last vampire.
And following that, my favorite three words possibly in the entire English language: "vampires versus zombies." By the time we get out of the first year, there will be an army of vampires. And what do you use to stop an army of vampires? An army of zombies.
"Rise of the Vampires" kicks off in Justice League Dark #7 and continues in I, Vampire #7, both out next Wednesday, March 28. Bottom artwork is the cover of I, Vampire #8 by Andrea Sorrentino, out April 25. You can also pick up the first collection Joshua's superhero series The Last of the Greats (more on that here) in stores now.