If there is anything that Liesel Van Helsing has learned in her many years of fighting vampires, werewolves and monsters, it is that these creatures can hold a grudge. For a very long time. GET OVER IT ALREADY! So what if Liesel killed their Father, Sister, Brother or lover. She didn’t tell them to become evil monsters. But she sure as heck was willing to put an end to their rampaging. So with that as a backdrop, it comes as no surprise that the self-proclaimed League of Monsters were once again seeking to put an end to Liesel. What else were they going to do? Start a book club? This time however, Liesel had a weakness. Someone she cared about and if they were not very careful, another one she might lose.
This is the premise in Pat Shand and Alessandro Uezu’s Van Helsing: Return of the League of Monsters, Pt. 1. The League of Monsters has reconvened, seeking to bring their own style of vengeance upon their mutual enemy, Liesel Van Helsing. Lead by Dracula’s Daughter Charlotte Le Fanu, and consisting of the Invisible Woman, the NEW Beast of Exmoor, and The Bride, along with her Frankenstein. All of these individuals have their own reasons for vengeance and have accepted this alliance one more time to finally get what they feel is justice for them or their loved ones. However, Dracula’s Daughter has enlisted one more ally. One that the other members of her unholy alliance have no knowledge of. But by the time it is all said and done, their vengeance will be at hand. The question will be, will the cost be worth it?
This was a classic tale of vengeance, loss, betrayal, and bad decisions. In other words, an iconic Monster story where emotional loss is almost more debilitating than physical loss. In fact, it is the one thing that each of the players in the narrative have in common. Whether it be our heroine Liesel or her adversaries, each have suffered losses in their time. In turn, each have tried to use that loss to drive their responses to it. For good or ill, and sometimes bringing about even MORE loss. Will Liesel be able to overcome her foes and somehow resolve the situation she finds herself in? More importantly, who can she really trust in her efforts to do so? That is the dilemma awaiting Liesel in PT. 2.
As per usual, Zenescope brings such tales to life like no other. Writer Pat Shand draws the audience in to the narrative, taking the time to expound on each character’s angst and what drove them to their current circumstances. Thus making it easy for even first time readers to feel for what drives each one. Even if the characters reasoning are slightly askew. It is a talent that all writers in a Zenescope book brings to bare for each tale, and Shand excels like his brethren before him.
I have pretty much given up on trying to find new superlatives for the art work that has become a Zenescope trademark. Artist Alessandro Uezu has proven his skills time and time again and Van Helsing: Return of the League of Monsters just continues his trend of excellence. By now, I would be shocked if a Zenescope book DOESN’T floor me with their artistic expertise. They are batting .1000 so far. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the great work done by colorist Walter Pereyra and letterer Taylor Esposito (Of Ghost Glyph Studios). Vibrant color work and exquisite letter forms are often overlooked. Pereya and Esposito makes sure that doesn’t happen with their contributions. Fabulous work.
Zenecope’s Van Helsing: Return of the League of Monsters is available on November 3rd where all great comics are sold.
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Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 18 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.