Vampire the Masquerade brings back some fond memories for me, even though I’ve never played the Role Playing Game or the Video Game. It was the television show Kindred: The Embraced that hooked me. It aired in 1996 for only one season, starring the now late Mark Frankel (who was also in a very short-lived series Fortune Hunter) and the very beautiful and striking Stacy Haiduk in the best role I’ve seen her in, to date. The show lasted only 8 episodes but left a lasting impression on me that I have not shaken since (I actually own the DVDs). I read several of the books after that and bought the card game.
So, when I heard that Vault was doing a comic series, I had to pick it up. The first issue is a slow read, introducing us to a new character, Cecily Bain, in a story entitled “Winter’s Teeth.” It lacks the world-building of the show as we get to see only one of the factions at work.
She begins as a heartless character, who I thought was the villain from the onset. One of her crew, (which I believe is Toreador) told their human girlfriend, who happened to be a reporter, that he was a vampire. This is against the rules and Cecily slaughters her. Oh well, time to be single again, buddy.
Then we see another completely different side of her as she visits her sister, who has dementia and lives a facility. She says a quick hello and goodbye and goes to a spot she was given by the prince, only to find someone else squatting there. She immediately attacks this girl. The factionless girl asks for mercy and Cecily takes her in, but while she sleeps, the girl stands over her with a hammer and a stake. Oh my.
Does she kill her? Find out.
Then there’s a second story, though I’m not sure why about a group of factionless vampires being stalked by a vampire hunter in a story called “The Anarch Tales.” In the back are character sheets for Cecily and Colleen Pendergrass from the second story. I assume that these can be used as NPC’s for the Role Playing Game.
I had a hard time believing that Cecily was Toreador clan. For those of you who are not familiar with the world, Toreadors are patrons of the arts, which include music, painting, photography, filmmaking, etc. They are the sophisticated clan among the others. Cecily did not come off that way at all. Also, they mention Prince Samantha. I understand that Prince may be a gender-neutral word, but it still sounds strange when you read it.
I’m a big fan of this world, I hope in later issues they will develop it to its potential. I’ll hang around for a few issues and see where it goes.