Digital Comic: The Vampire Diaries: Vervain 1/3

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It’s been a while since I did a comic post: I’m on a bit of a hiatus with them. Still, when I heard that they were coming out with a digital comic for the Vampire Diaries I was curious, and for $0.99 it’s a low risk investment.

Here are my thoughts below:

Pros:

  • The distribution method and price point. At $0.99 even those who otherwise might not read comics should be willing to give this a shot. Digital distribution means no trying to locate a physical comic book store (which not everyone has access to) or having to pay more for the shipping than the comic itself. This is going to be a niche title, much like the True Blood comic and the cheaper costs associated with an all digital method should mean a lower price point to remain viable.
  • There is some good banter between Damon and the new character, Julian.
  • It attempts to explain why vervain, which is a weed, is so difficult to find in Mystic Falls.
  • It does remember canon that says that a witch cannot become a vampire and remain a witch.

Cons

  • The art work is iffy. Much like True Blood, the creatures try to ape the look of the actors who play the characters. Problem is, it doesn’t always translate well. Had the first bubble not specifically referred to Damon and Stefan I’m not convinced I’d have recognized them. Some panels are better than others.
  • Their grasp of canon seems dubious. Damon calls Julian a “Yankee deserter” so why should they trust him. Damon may have been fighting for the South, but he’s no less a deserter. It’s one of the first lines that Damon speaks and a first impression should never be “has the writer seen the series?”
  • Along those lines, it’s said that vervain is needed for the witches’ magic. Since when? We never really see Bonnie use it. As far as I can tell, the ones who have used vervain the most are the vampires themselves.
  • For that matter, early canon established that the Salvatore brothers controlled the vervain in Mystic Falls. If this spell wiped it out, then where did they get a supply to stock up their supply? And, if what Damon said is true about going to the Lowe’s in the next town over, why even bother to have that green house worth of vervain in the first place?
  • I’m not even sure that the witches magic would allow this. The TVD form of magic is very nature based and it’s been well established that the spirits don’t like that which goes against nature (hence Esther being punished so horribly for what she did). I’m not sure that the spirits would allow this kind of spell to happen.

I am curious as to where they are taking this, and for the price I’ll play along, but if the comic goes beyond the initial 3 issue run, the writers need to take (or retake) a crash course in the show’s mythology. Those who are apt to read the comic are going to be the ones who know what’s what and whose who and they aren’t going to necessarily hang on for the ride if it ultimately doesn’t make any sense.

This comic does however, make me appreciate that Michael McMillian wrote the True Blood comic. Because he was both a fan and someone who worked on the show, the two canons flowed well together, so much so that the show later adopted some of his canon into the show’s. This title, however doesn’t have that luxury. The writer Colleen Doran may be an comic veteran, but I doubt she’s even seen an episode. I’m guessing that she was given a bullet list of Things to Know and is working off of that. It’s the only explanation I have for this otherwise odd plot choice.

I’m going to hold off on a rating for now, at least get through this arc before I make a judgement to see if continuity issues improve, but right now, I’m not sure I can recommend it.

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