The Annotated Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #4
Over the past few months I've been devoting a lot of time here at the ISB to providing my readers with a handy guide through the serpetine plot twists of Marvel's Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter adaptation, and with last week's release of Anita Blake #4, it looks like it's that time again.
For those of you expecting a few cheap laughs at the expense of Laurell K. Hamilton's graphic masterwork, however, I'd suggest looking elsewhere for your entertainment, as this is unquestionably the best issue of the series so far.
Then again, in this context, "best" only means "least horrible." Grab a copy and follow along!
0.0: In Laurell K. Hamilton's biography in the programs to this year's San Diego ComiCon, Anita Blake is referred to as "the first sexy paranormal comic ever," a piece of news to which the creators of Vampirella, Witchblade, and Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose responded: "Really."
1.1: This issue opens with a catch-up page on the inside front cover, which is handy considering that there is absolutely no attempt made to establish what's going on in the story itself, or to differentiate this page in any way. Apparently, chapter breaks are unknown in the world of spooky sex romps.
1.4: Although he showed up as a last-page cameo in the previous issue, this panel marks the first full appearance of Valentine, or as I've been referring to him in my head, Huggy Bear.
The impulse to read all of his dialogue in Prince's voice should be considered normal and encouraged.
2.2: Seen here in a flashback, Anita is, oddly enough, wearing the exact same clothes that she is back in the present. One can assume that she either wears the same thing to hunt down and kill a gang of murderous vampires that she does for a swigin' bachelorette party, or that she's elected to stick with one basic outfit for the past two years.
2.6: A lesser man would make the easy joke here:
All I'll say is that Anita could not look more bored at the prospect of her impending death.
5.4: With a hideously scarred face and a metal mask, Valentine completes the Supervillain Mastermind trifecta in this panel by actually saying the word "Bah." The lack of an exclamation point, however, tends to give you the idea that he's just not that into it.
8.1: Anita's narrative captions in this panel bear closer examination: "I had seen two sunrises in as many days," is far less ominous than it might sound at first, what with the fact that the sun does tend to rise every day. Also, her lines, "Everything hurt. There is nothing like waking up the morning after a good beating," lack the sort of impact they would've had if they were spoken, say, after she'd been to sleep.
9.2: Say hello to Edward, who makes his appearance in the ISB-approved manner of breaking into somebody's house and kicking back in their recliner while they're not home. Over the next few pages, he's going to be blowing some things up with a flamethrower and handing out sawed-off shotguns like it's Christmas at the NRA, so it's safe to assume that he's the most likeable character in the series so far.
10.5: According to the story, Edward's supposed to be using a flamethrower in this scene, and not a Wagner Power Painter.
12.6: Huh, that's weird.
I thought Edward had green eyes.
14.6: Huh, that's weird.
I thought Edward had blue eyes.
16.1: In her dream sequence, Anita's wearing a polo shirt with the collar popped up, suggesting that she envisions herself as a frat boy. Similar scenes where she referred to people as "brah" and asked if anybody totally remembered the Thundercats were cut from the adaptation for space reasons.
19.6: Oh dear.
Veronica Sims? Oh that won't do at all.
...the solicitation for the newest Anita Blake novel from last month's Previews:
"Being a Federal Marshal known for raising the dead and being a vampire executioner is no way to raise a baby." Fantastic.
More Dubious Information on Anita Blake:
| Matchup #1: Anita Blake vs. Dracula |
| Matchup #2: Anita Blake vs. Batman |
| The Annotated Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #3 |