Vampire: The Masquerade #1 Review: Tim Seeley Returns to Horror

Vampire: The Masquerade #1
8/10
Two stories take very different approaches to what life is as a vampire in the world of The Masquerade.

Vampire: The Masquerade is probably most familiar to those who grew up in the 1990s, but this iconic tabletop roleplaying game from White Wolf has stayed relevant throughout the years with its intricate mythology and full-tilt goth depiction of vamps. The game allowed players to roleplay as vampires and build characters within the world of vampiric clans and politics, making it one of the most unique RPGs of its time. Now, Vault Comics, known for their creator-owned content, has a new comic book series based on the game with the main story by writer Tim Seeley, known for the classic horror comic Hack/Slash, and artist Devmalya Pramink, and a back-up tale by X-writer Tini Howard and Black Howard with artist Nathan Gooden. Both stories are lettered by Addison Duke and lettered by AndWorld to give them a cohesive feel. So how does Vault's dip into licensed comics work?

Vampire: The Masquerade #1 cover. Credit: Vault Comics
Vampire: The Masquerade #1 cover. Credit: Vault Comics

The Tim Seeley and Dev Pramanik main feature introduces Cecily Bain, who works as an Enforcer for the vampire monarch Prince Samantha. This story is a triumphant return to horror for Seeley, who created Hack/Slash and Revival before a long and successful run as a superhero writer. Now, Seeley creates a comic here that evokes classic Vertigo comics on every page, with a world that is complex and interesting with subversive characters and art from Pramanik that is beautifully creepy.

The bonus story from Tini Howard, Blake Howard, and Nathan Gooden introduces a gang of vampires removed from the political conflict of the main story. It's a totally different vibe from the first tale but is equally successful in creating engaging characters that flesh over the overall mythology.

Something that's great for fans of the Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop game, too, is the bonus section with had material that allows readers to play as the characters from the Vault series. It's a great addition to both the Masquerade legacy and Vault's library, showing that this publisher creates their licensed material with as much love as their creator-owned efforts.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.