Sink Your Teeth into THE COMPLETE BITE CLUB
These aren’t your daddy’s boring Transylvania types. This is a vampire-laden Miami landscape where the Del Toros are a ferocious family of mobsters with as much appetite for sex and power as for blood. It has plenty of that “Soprano’s” goodness. Mario Puzo should be jealous because Bite Club is “The Godfather” on speed!
The Complete Bite Club is a Vertigo comic book collection created by writers Howard Chaykin and David Tischman. It is essentially a crime story in which all of the protagonists are vampires living in Miami.
This trade collects the first limited series Bite Club which debuted in June 2004 and ran for six issues and Bite Club: Vampire Crime Unit in which ran June 2006, which was five issues. Both series were drawn by artist David Hahn.
Vampire books are a dime a dozen, there are so many stories coming out that I always worry that it will lack any originality at all. That being said The Complete Bite Club TPB is a must. I was awre of the books when they debuted but there is never enough time to read everything. Shame on me. Dare I say this should be enjoyed along with Preacher and Transmetropolitan, another great job from Vertigo.
The blood runs thick through the pages of Bite Club and its sequel Vampire Crime Unit. These aren’t your daddy’s boring Transylvania types. This is the real world, and in the vampire-laden Miami landscape, the Del Toros are a ferocious family of mobsters at the untouchable top of the corporate ladder, with as much appetite for sex and power as for blood. It has plenty of that “Soprano’s” goodness. Mario Puzo should be jealous because Bite Club is “The Godfather” on speed, or the book’s narcotic equivalent, “plasmagoria,” as every taboo is hit upon in the book—from school shootings to incest. After the murder of vampire crime boss Eduardo del Toro, his heirs and relatives begin to make a play for control of his organization. To their dismay, Toro in his will named his youngest son, a Roman Catholic priest and vampire named Leto, as his successor. Leto announces that his family will get out of the illegal-drug business and begin investing in legitimate industry. This endeavor earns Leto the support of Zephraim Klein, the Del Toro family consigliere, and the enmity of his other relatives, like his siblings Eddie and Risa, and his cousin Victor. Risa later assassinates Eddie. Risa then teams up with Victor to assassinate Leto, and is successful, although Victor also dies during the attempt, and Risa takes control of the family with her girlfriend Carrie.
While the story’s layers and twists don’t always converge gracefully, you’ll be too engrossed to slow down. The second arc takes a noir turn, as the Vampire Crime Unit, not without scandals of its own, goes head to head with new mob boss Risa Del Toro—the most fiercely depraved bada$$ b!tch in recent memory. Risa soon finds that running the Del Toro family is not as fulfilling as she had expected. Their legitimate businesses are the subject of myriad lawsuits, and Risa herself is being investigated by the police as the suspect in a string of murders. Homicide detective Paco Macavoy develops an obsession with Risa. He confirms that Risa is innocent of the murders, and also that the Vampire Crime Unit is riddled with corruption. After discovering that it was Risa's girlfriend Carrie who did the killings, Macavoy is himself turned into a vampire. Sick of the entire affair, he abandons both the Del Toro family and his job on the police department. The sequel Vampire Crime Unit is not as strong as the original chapter of Bite Club, but it is a very good story. The ending still leaves you yearning for a final chapter to the series.
This is a very entertaining collection and you really get a good sense of everyones personalities thanks to the great writing of Chaykin and Tischman. This books also sports some of the sexiest cover work by Frank Quitely. David Hahn’s clean, sharp style captivates and suits the stories perfectly, while Brian Miller’s coloring gives each scene a different tint, enhancing the mood and drawing out the night through the daylight. Most notably, the book refreshes the vampire template by applying insatiable appetites to the world of business and crime, where they can pulse with lust and life—making these neck nibblers far more human than human.
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