By Matt Gagnon, Michael Alan Nelson and Brian Stelfreeze
There are books that start off hot from the first issue printed. They just seem to have a lot of buzz around them and the print run isn’t quite high enough to meet demand. These are books that honestly have nowhere to go but down. It’s nearly impossible to maintain that much hype right out of the gate and consistently keep it up. Day Men is a book like this. They hype was high for many reasons, but Brian Stelfreeze on pencils was a big draw for many people. As we enter into issue 8 this week, we’ll look at a few reasons why this book has suffered and will continue to do so.
Matt Gagnon and Michael Alan Nelson have a very good premise on their hands with this series; A person who runs errands during the day and watches over the vamps as they sleep. Very cool and original, add onto that some vampire families, almost like gangs, and you have a recipe for success. This issue picks up right where issue 7 leaves off, the only problem with that is that issue 7 came out almost a year ago. This can and will bury this series. David and Jacob take on Titus due to his betrayal. What Gagnon and Nelson get right is David’s internal monologue that helps us remember characters names and what is happening in the series. The fight scene between these characters is orchestrated well, and Gagnon and Nelson make sure we understand that no one is safe. There are some casualties this issue that sting a little. Azalea comes off great this issue too. The writers have done a good job of building her up to a likable character. She really shines this issue and you could probably walk away with her being one of your favorite characters.
The pencils are done by Brian Stelfreeze with colors by Darrin Moore. Stelfreeze is a master in the art department. He certainly knows how to draw a battle sequence and his pages look great. One of the cooler things he does with this series, is that he allows many of the pages to be wide-screen, almost like you’re watching a movie. Of course, as always, there are some silhouetted images, which are always amazing. One set of pages from this book that kick the most ass, are the pages of a character dying in the sun. We get widescreen panels, but the shadows and the bird’s eye view of the pages will stick with you. The colors by Darrin Moore are phenomenal as well. His colors feel very vibrant and make Stelfreeze’s art pop. This is a great tandem for art work, unfortunately we don’t get to see them enough.
This honestly is an awesome and explosive book, but the delay kills any momentum it may ever have. The delay is inexcusable and will alienate casual and hardcore fans. The writing and art really shine on this series, but if it comes out once a year it’s meaningless. Hopefully this series will get back on track soon, because Day Men is definitely a title worth reading.