Dark Fang #1 (Image Comics)
How would a vampire react to our world of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Image’s new series Dark Fang looks to answer that question, and the results may surprise you. Written by Miles Gunter and drawn by Kelsey Shannon, Dark Fang is a really unique twist on the vampire tales you’ve read countless times, and Valla’s origin story is pretty cool as well.
After spending a hundred years in the ocean, Valla returns to the world of humans in the modern day. After discovering her victims are obsessed with a “glowing box”, she learns of the different ways that she can use it to make money, something she is in desperate need of since she’s been gone for a century. Quickly becoming an internet sensation, Valla adjusts to her new lifestyle of internet fame and fortune, until a mysterious black spot appears on one of her fangs.
Dark Fang has a lot of fun skewering our obsessions with technology, but the thing that stands out the most to me is Valla’s back story. While this first issue is book ended in a weirdly disjointed way, once Miles Gunter’s script focuses on Valla’s history as a vampire, I was really intrigued. It’s a weird cross between Dracula and The Little Mermaid¸ and it works surprisingly really well. While the other aspects of this issue aren’t as strong as that, it’s enough to get you to understand Valla’s worldview, and make you hope for more flashbacks to her time under the sea.
Speaking of The Little Mermaid, that’s a clear influence on artist Kelsey Shannon’s art. While Dark Fang is definitely drawn in a cartoonish style, it actually works really well for the world Gunter and Shannon set up. Like Gunter’s script, Shannon’s art is at its best in the “origin section” of Dark Fang, where the artist can really cut loose with some stunning undersea landscapes and panels.
Despite the awkward opening and ending of this issue, I’m still curious enough about Dark Fang to keep going with it. The clever twist on Valla’s origin story and her feelings towards modern culture are pretty entertaining, and I really want to see where her story goes from here. Fans of vampire stories like Interview with the Vampire, Dracula, and even Twilight would probably find a lot to like here.