I was given a copy of Realm of the Damned – Tenebris Deos by one of the staff at Forbidden Planet. Werewolf Press did a really nice job of printing up Alec Worley’s graphic novel. The subtitle is a nice touch as Worley must have been thinking that he had a franchise on his hands.
The next installment is out later this year.
So whats Realm of the Damned like? It reminded me a lot of Blade 2. You have the titular character who is a natural enemy of vampires brought in by them to kill a super vampire that would kill all of them.
The closeness of a vampire slayer to the Catholic church is very reminiscent of John Carpenter’s Vampires series of films. The main protagonist Alberic Van Helsing is already tired and worn out, rather like Wolverine in Old man Logan; but with severe addiction issues.
Where Realm of the Damned differs from these films is in aesthetic. It’s like something out of a black metal album lyrics. Darkness, killing, death, decay, hopelessness, savagery, dark magic, endless supplies of blood.
A badass character like Kate Beckensdale’s Selene from the Underworld series would only work if she was emerging from a sea of blood. Think Ursula Andress emerging from the sea in Doctor No, but everything’s red.
And there in lies the weakness of Realm of the Damned. It’s something that the writers of Arachnophobia knew very well. If you want something to shock and horrify, use it sparingly. Unlike horrific spider films of the 1950s and 60s Arachnophobia had one spider who popped up at any time rather than a legion of spiders.
Even Garth Ennis’ The Punisher punctuates violence with detail and plot movements. Realm of the Damned splashes the claret too much and loses much of its effect.
Of course, I am probably not the main target audience for this book.