Transfusion Volume 1: “Vampires vs. Robots” by Steve Niles, with art by menton3, is a new horror publication from IDW that proves to be an intensely frightening story. The concept may sound sort of humorous, but it surely is not. The only Steve Niles book that I’ve read until now was 30 Days of Night, and let me tell you, the man still knows how to write a terrifying tale; only this time, vampires aren’t the only menacing antagonists.
In the future, only a small number of human strongholds remain due to a war with the robots that they had once created. The robots””and I mean giant, floating mechanical beings with human skulls protruding from their heads””scour the planet in search of any lingering people as they need human blood for fuel. Vampires””also in need of human blood to survive””are now at war with the robot menaces in order to preserve their own lives. William, a vampire born in 1976, is in charge of finding humans before the robots do, and bringing them back to his clan. In a sudden ambush, William’s vampire clan is slaughtered by a group of robots, but he is saved by two human women. Forming an alliance with his saviors, the three regroup with another vampire clan and plan to attack the robots head on. During their risky assault, William and the group make a startling discovery that could drastically change the course of their actions moving forward.
Steve Niles’ tale is told from the perspective of William, and while Niles does use regular comic conventions like providing dialogue and narration, he generally only delivers actual writing when absolutely necessary for the story. This form of storytelling, relying heavily on the illustrations to move things along, is masterfully delivered in Transfusion.
Menton3’s illustrations are, well, really creepy. They remind me quite a bit of the art by Ben Templesmith (who worked with Steve Niles on 30 Days of Night). His drawings have a dark, ethereal, dreamlike feel that will easily scare the heck out of you without even reading any words.
I normally don’t read much horror, but Transfusion, Vol. 1: “Vampires vs. Robots” is a fascinating and thrilling read. If you’re into going to bed with the covers over your head, this is the book for you!