Written by David Hine
Conceived by Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson
Illustrated by Roy Allen Martinez
Painted by Kinsun Loh and Jerry Cho
Lettered by Richard Starkings and ComicCrafts’ Jimmy Betancourt
Release date: December 2009
Alternate histories are always a fun concept to play with in fiction. Imagining a world where the Axis won WW2 like Philip K. Dick’s Man in a High Castle, or Allan Moore’s and Kevin O’Neill’s Victorian speculative and adventure fiction comics The League of Extraordinary Gentleman are great exercises in creative speculation.
Radical Comics, writer David Hine, and artist Roy Allen Martinez brings forward their own altered world where vampires and zombies are very real, and their presence has permanently altered the history of the human race in FVZA. The FVZA, or the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, was assembled to hunt down and destroy the infected. When a working vampire vaccine was discovered in the 1960s, President Kennedy announced that the FVZA was to be disbanded. A former scientist and operative of the FVZA has isolated and trained his granddaughter and grandson to take up the battle if the undead return. When a surviving vampire plans to overthrow the human rule and create the United Vampire States of America, the FVZA is reformed to tackle the emerging menace.
FVZA is a beautifully drawn comic with a very cool concept. It’s gory, it’s sexy, and it’s a lot of fun. But on some level, I’m still disappointed.
First, the good bits: In a world where vampires are real, the counter-culture fake vampires find becoming the real deal a very violent, and unsexy, ordeal. Consider it the anti-Twilight. The zombie virus eats away at human being, body and mind, slowly. They become monsters before they even realize it. David Hine’s 200-year history of this world explores how these creatures would have a real effect on our politics, our culture, and our history. Roy Allen Martinez’s art, assisted by Kinsun Loh’s and Jerry Cho’s painting, has created an amazing hyper-sexual, hyper-gory, and hyper-violent world that stands out in great detail.
Now for the bad: Ever since Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Underworld, it seems that the only person qualified to kill the undead is a hot chick in tight leather armed with a samurai sword. Now don’t get me wrong, I love sexy chicks in tight leather. I also love samurai swords. But after creating such a unique take on the zombie/vampire universe I can’t understand why Hine and Martinez decided to go with a clichÃ© for their protagonist. I know that sex sells, but must sex sell all the time?
Still, despite the somewhat uninteresting protagonist, I still found FVZA to be a great concept comic that I regret will end after the next issue.
RATING: 4 out of 5 VAMPIRIC LEECHES