Undying Love #1
has a typical noir feeling and plot to it. But that is not
necessarily a bad thing. Sure it is predictable, but sometimes less
complications and a lack of unnecessary twists is a good thing. That
is the case of Undying Love #1. You can see the action and
character development, even some lines of dialogue, coming from a
mile away yet somehow there is still somewhat a sense of
satisfaction seeing your predictions coming to fruition.
The comic is about John Sargent as he tries to
save his love, Mei, from a horrible curse. We find out she was
turned by the most powerful vampire and Sargent has to defeat him to
free Mei. But Sargent has very little assistance in trying to help
Mei, for there are many other creatures out there wishing to prevent
Now I knew the plot seemed a bit too familiar to
me and when I was trying to watch the live-action adaptation of
Blood: The Last Vampire I remembered why. In the film, and I
assume the anime, our main heroine was also turned by an
uber-powerful vampire and she is out to destroy him. So though the
plots are similar, they are different enough. First of all, a
vampire going after a vampire does not have the same suspense as a
human (though one very skilled with weaponry) going after the head
honcho of the bloodsucking world.
The relationship between Mei and Sargent also
reminded me a bit of Let Me In. I say Let Me In over
Let the Right One In because I feel that the American version
had a more cynical view of Abby/Eli. What I mean by this is that in
Let Me In her reasons for being nice to Owen are
questionable. Is she becoming friends with him because she is lonely
or because she needs a new caretaker? Mei is not fleshed out much in
the first issue, so I am interested in seeing how she turns out
throughout the series, whether or not her intentions with Sargent
The artwork is gritty and real, but stagnant.
Characters have the same facial expression from panel to panel.
There is little kinetics within and through the panels, so the
drawings felt more like that, just drawings. They did not seem to
flow from page to page. In film there is a technique called Soviet
Montage, in which cuts and edits are made not just to change the
shot but also to bring out meaning. By just having the same look for
a character from one drawing to the next leaves no room for deeper
meanings or reading in between the lines (or gutters in this case).
That being said, I liked the dirty feel of the
comic. The characters are shady and so are the locations. It
encompasses the tone of noir to a T, including archetypal
characters. The only problem I really had with the book reading it
the first time was the lack of complexity, whether it be in the art
or the story. It did seem to fall flat by the end, though this also
could be due to the predictability. Despite this, I was left with a
feeling of wanting to continue on with the series and in this way
the comic is a success.