The New Deadwardians has rapidly become my favourite Vertigo title (which usually means it will be cancelled shortly), written by Dan Abnett whose work, despite the praise it often receives, I haven’t personally enjoyed for a long time. But New Deadwardians is aces. It smacks of a high concept 2000AD strip given room to breathe and expand its work in each chapter, with each new revelation on the way this semi-colonial world works, with humans, vampires and zombies in a strange class-reflecting coexistence. We’ve seen wars reinvented, London rewritten, the very nature of what it is to live to be redefined with all the structural consequences that brings. Yet in it all, is a story about a police detective trying to do his job, and be a man. Even when he isn’t. The artwork is open, bright, clean and clear, which really helps when the situation portrayed is so murky.
But today, really, they exceeded themselves. By introducing the Suffragette movement. Though rather than looking for the vote, arguing a no-taxation-without-representation message, this time it’s women fighting for the right to become vampires. To take the Cure, become one of The Young, and acheive immortality.
“Throats For Women”. Man that’s good. That’s so very good. I’m really happy now. Let’s hear it again.
And naturally, since this is a period class drama, such an issue has to come up at dinner.
The world is dead from both directions. The upper class cannot see their own nature as comparable to the Restless below, but they are one and the same. And our inspector, Young himself, is the only one who seems to see it.
This is an eight issue series. I hope Abnett and Culbard can find inspiration to keep this going… there is so much more to mine here.
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London. Currentky exhibiting the work of Hung.