$14.99, color, 176 pgs.
Written by: Dan Abnett
Artist: I.N.J. Culbard
This eight issue mini-series about a zombie outbreak in England at the turn of the twentieth century would be interesting on its own. Adding a societal class structure of vampires and their human servants to the mix, however, is what makes The New Deadwardians unique.
George Suttle is the Chief Inspector of the Homicide Squad, although his deductive talents are wasted in a society where murders are rare. Suttle has the makings of a good detective, but with most of the population already dead (either vampire or zombie), he has little motivation to excel at his job. When Scotland Yard dispatches Suttle to investigate an actual murder, he finally has an opportunity to use his talents. The murder victim is a vampire, whose mysterious death does not follow any of the normal rules that govern a vampire’s existence.It’s a different scenario where people become vampires, but continue living their normal daily lives, while trying to cope with the absence of familiar needs like sleep and hunger. Even more interesting is that even in this alternate take on post-Victorian England, many of the same social issues exist. In this reality, the struggle for women's suffrage and equal rights is more about being allowed to take "The Cure" (becoming a vampire), rather than the right to vote in an election. The series is also an interesting study on the relationship between the vampires and the "servant class," which consists of the remaining humans that have not gone the route of either vampire or zombie.
The entire mini-series is available in trade paperback format at your local comic shop, and is easily one of the most innovative Vertigo series of the past couple years. It's definitely worth a look, even if the undead genre is not your cup of tea (no pun intended).