Set in an alternate America where vampire and zombie attacks were so much a part of our history that Ulysses S. Grant set up a government agency to combat ‘em, FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency (Radical Comics) is an agreeably splattery three-ish mini-series narrated by the distaff half of a brother/sister reared by their Ahab-y Uncle Pecos to re-kill the undead. Though the government believes that the vamp/zombie menace was successfully put down in the sixties, both Pecos and the reader know that'll rear its ugly collective head before the end of the first issue – and that Landra and Vidal, the two sibs trained in the ways of slay-age, will soon find their skills put to the test.
Based on a popular website, FVZA treats its potentially over-familiar material with a commendable seriousness. Scripter David Hine and painterly artist Roy Allan Martinez know the value of a good full-page blood bath — we get a particularly nice ‘un in the first with a mother and her brood of zombie kids — and they refuse to treat website creator Richard Dargan’s universe with any winks or obvious metaphorical layering. If Martinez’s art can be stiff during some of the expository moments, it’s energetically disturbing during the monster moments. The scenes where we’re shown the process of zombification are particularly clinically unnerving, while a sequence depicting the aftermath of two would-be vampires’ initiation into the world of the undead is also effectively doom-y.
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