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"The Vain #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Oni Press


Written by Eliot Rahal
Illustrated by Emily Pearson
Colored by Fred C. Stresing w/ assistance by Macy Kahn
Lettered by Crank!
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 16th, 2020


The vampire mobsters have moved from robbing blood banks to fighting Nazis and now they're in Cuba facing off against the Communist regime. This started out glamorous, but it doesn't seem like it's paying off for them. Meanwhile, Felix, the FBI Agent, is moving up the ranks, getting closer and closer to his vampire targets.

The Vain jumps forward in time once again, giving us a unique perspective on another major event in history. Any one of these would have been an interesting story on its own. Instead, it feels like we're just scrapping the surface of each one without getting a full appreciation of what the time period means. They're more like boxes to be checked along the way.

The problem here comes not with the vampires, but with Felix. He's a momentum killer. His path is linked with these bloodsuckers, yet he's pretty clueless after spending years researching them. His narration is overly dry and lacks energy. This is ironic as the characters that are full of life are the undead ones. Crank!'s letters show the by-the-book nature of Felix with his narration often showed as part of an official report, written on a typewriter.

Click images to enlarge

The vampire side is much more intriguing. Writer Eliot Rahal drafts a compelling story of this small group, led by the determined and confident Lost. They've survived this long by listening to her and staying under the radar. That's getting harder and harder to do as the world changes around them. Tensions are starting to run high as these people that should be at the top of the food chain are living like rats.

I love how artist Emily Pearson creates a calm setting with these characters and then blows the lid off when the fangs come out. Regardless of the era, Lost and her colleagues are the epitome of cool. They're in control of every room they're in with all eyes upon them. This makes their later years spent hiding all the more interesting, as they're forced to give up some of that power.

Click images to enlarge

Colorist Fred C. Stresing, aided by Macy Kahn, makes the blood pop on the page. It has a splatter effect in each panel, adding to the chaos. At times it looks like it's on the comic itself and not within the panel. It's a great effect.

The Vain has floundered a bit in its bounces through time. There is a compelling story here with the vampires, but it's bogged down by the dry FBI agent who often feels like an afterthought, shoehorned into the story. I'm hoping he starts paying his dues soon.


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Art: fourstars
Overall: 3 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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