Silver Vol. 2

Stephan Franck

Dark Planet Comics

Creator Stephan Franck had a Kickstarter campaign for the second collection of his vampire/crime noir series Silver. As a backer, I've already read the digital edition, which contains Issues 4-6 of the series. Still a blast, regardless of how unlikely the genre mashup may sound. Franck takes care to use Bram Stoker vampire lore and noir genre tropes equally---although the balance varies a bit from issue to issue--so it always operates on both levels. Issue #4 is a classic "pickpocket on a train" sequence. The team has to steal an invitation to Dracula's Walpurgis Night celebration, alter it to invite one of their own, then place it back in the victim's pocket--while also prepping one of the team to play a convincing elder vampire. All kinds of suspense, and it all works.

When they get to the castle, the goal is to set up the big heist. To do it they must pull off a sting operation, because the treasure stronghold is impregnable. Franck creates a castle that is visually epic: a massive fantasy structure out of time, full of impossibly high ceilings and shadows. Dracula's court is a place of political intrigue and the constant threat of discovery and death. It's a dangerous place for veteran vampires, let alone a group of mortal humans trying to pass.

All of the action happens accompanied by ringleader James Finnigan's wry, cynical commentary. It's like a noir detective story narrated by the crook. By the end of the collection the hook has been baited, and the team has somehow dodged all of the potential traps and pitfalls. It could be argued that the next collection is where the action really starts.

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