In case you've forgotten, two different characters in these comic books have dribbled about how awesome Anita is because she doesn't just wait for the police to capture, tie up and bring a vampire to her so she can kill it. Oh no, she's the Awesome Vampire Hunter who goes out and does the hunting herself, because she is AWESOME.
So of course, what happens when a vampire needs to be executed?
That's right: the police have to capture, tie up and bring Anita the vampire. She doesn't hunt anything. Yet she's reputed to be the only vampire hunter who hunts them and doesn't rely on the cops.
- You know, I'm really thinking that Anita's whole reputation is complete fiction generated by her to cover up her mediocrity and ineptitude.
- I mean, we've already seen that she'll cover up her own failures with lies about being a badass and saving people. And for the second time in this TWO-ISSUE COMIC BOOK SERIES, the police have had to identify, locate, capture and imprison a vampire, while Anita was off with her thumb up her ass. And of course, we're told that unlike most vampire hunters, she'll hunt and stake them in person rather than waiting until they're dead for the day... and then have her staking them when they're dead for the day.
- This series makes a LOT more sense if you assume that Anita's entire reputation is just lies and rumors she spread herself.
- And notice how apparently she only kills a "dead" vampire when HE'S ALREADY BEEN RESTRAINED.
- On the other hand, if a vampire is up, about and dangerous, you should attack them THEN. Logic is Anita's bitch.
- Once again, the heroine's actions are so blatantly stupid that even she calls out the author. No, it does NOT fucking matter if you kill the evil vamps or if he does.
- 3. Naturally, Anita has to put on a tight sexy outfit to kill vampires in.
So Anita starts checking the vampire guy's ribs so she can stake him correctly, and Zerbrowski starts asking why she doesn't just stab him right in the heart. Her answer:
... so.... why not puncture the heart with a thin, polished, possibly metal-tipped stake? Is there some unwritten law that vampires must always be killed with rough-carved tent pegs?! And guess what Zerbrowski has to say about this bit of anatomical brilliance, displaying that Anita at some point actually took a beginner's biology course?
I think my brain just burst into flames from all the stupid. So, this is supposed to be a world where the supernatural has ALWAYS existed and people have ALWAYS known about it. What's more, until recently anyone could legally kill a vampire.
Yet somehow people writing and making movies, which has only gone on for MAYBE a century, have gotten this detail wrong... and NOBODY knows about it. This is not a small detail! THIS IS A FUCKING HUGE DETAIL! This is like writing a movie where a I.R.S. agent is depicted as going to other countries and assassinating dictators! PEOPLE WOULD KNOW THAT THIS IS FUCKING WRONG and they WOULD NOT TOLERATE IT! Anita would NOT be the only person who knows this!
... steam pours out of ears...
But to top off the hilarious stupidity of this scene, Anita just HAS to get the last word in:
I will allow the sheer shattering stupidity of that statement to sink in for awhile. A necromancer with a randomly-assigned license to kill is actually lecturing people on "confusing fact with fiction" while she kills a vampire. THIS IS A FUCKING FANTASY SERIES! There ARE NO FACTS.
And to reinforce that Anita is a moron, she announces that, "When I first started staking vamps, I'd missed the heart more often than I'd hit it. But I'd had a lot of practice since then." Lots of blood is splattering right now which probably means that she STILL isn't very good at hitting the heart.
Also, this is stupid because it basically reinforces that Anita is a FUCKING AMATEUR and apparently there are absolutely no standards for a vampire hunter. All you have to do is be batshit crazy and reckless, apparently. Now realistically, you would expect that a professional vampire hunter/executioner would have to jump through a LOT of hoops before they were given ANY kind of responsibility. For one thing, you would expect them to have to take a LOT of specialized classes using dummies or donated corpses, so you could hit the heart as cleanly and quickly as possible.
But no, apparently since vampires have no actual rights under the law, it's just fine if you randomly poke pointy objects into their torsos while you execute them. It's okay if you're totally inept, because you can just practice on future criminals - and nobody cares if you torture a vampire to death anyway.
"Time for you to die, Evil Vamp!" WHACK! "Uh, sorry, missed that. You can stop screaming, because this is an execution and nobody's gonna help you. Let's try again." WHACK! "Damn! Missed again. I'll try over here...."
But wait! Anita's not done SLOOOOWWWWWLLYYYYY killing this vampire. She announces that, "I'm going to have to treat this guy like a master vampire." No she doesn't bother telling us what that means - Dolph explains that it's HEAD-CHOPPIN' TIME. Or rather, HEAD-SAWIN' TIME.
- Since when do chickens go "bwak"? That's more like the noise I make when I have a sore throat and am trying to cough something gross up.
- Where the fuck did Anita's ginormous breasts go? They're just GONE.
- And the most mind-blowingly stupid part of this whole scene? Anita's head-chopping weapon... is a machete. Yes. She is using a MACHETE to chop off a guy's head.
WHAT. THE. HELL.
A regular machete is not what you chop off a fucking head with. It is NOT a knife intended to behead people and cut through a MASSIVE bone column. It is a slashing weapon intended to cut plants and make rough chops on large objects like vegetables, NOT FUCKING HEADS. Okay, maybe chicken heads, but it would be unbelievably long and torturous to chop off a PERSON'S HEAD with a machete just because you like phallic weapons. I mean, if you had no other weapon it would be ACCEPTABLE but not ideal for the purpose. It doesn't exactly scream "expert" to have a weapon unsuited for the task.
And the stupidest part is that there are many other weapons that are far better suited than a machete! What about a chainsaw? What about a broad-bladed axe? What about a FUCKING GUILLOTINE, which was actually CREATED as a means of mercifully, quickly and cleanly executing people without too much pain or mess? In a world where vampire criminals are regularly executed, why wouldn't they have one at the police station? So LKH can have Anita spend page after page painstakingly chopping at this guy's throat?!
Oh, and we get a random shot of Anita's ginormous boobies while she starts hacking away. No real reason, just reminding us that Anita is a SEXY vampire hunter with a skin-tight outfit for vampire-slaying.
So Anita starts cutting through the neck very... very... very slowly, and LKH makes sure we get a look at the half-severed neck muscles and veins. Blood is still splattering everywhere, and it takes forever. It's like Anita is using a fucking butter knife to kill this guy. and taking sooooooo long is not making her look like an expert.
And then LKH gets bored with the scene. We never find out if Anita finished killing that vampire, because suddenly we're in a totally different scene with absolutely no transition. Suddenly Anita is.... um, doing something unclear with her clothes, and a Generic Detective is sitting off to the side talking to some nerdy guy who's insisting that his wife left him for a vampire, but was going to come back. He claims THAT is the reason she was murdered by vampires.
Anita demonstrates her awe-inspiring detective skills by announcing dramatically:
Yeah, she's practically Sherlock Holmes. And once again, this is a piece of information she did NOT find out herself - someone showed up and conveniently handed it to her on a silver platter.
Oh, and for some reason the guy is being interviewed at a table in the middle of a hallway.
I honestly have never been interviewed by the police about anything, but I'm pretty sure that they have designated areas where you can talk to a detective. And I'm pretty sure that detectives' desks are not placed in a narrow hallway that is completely blocked if anybody sits in the chair facing him. This is made even stupider by the fact that Anita is in a room at the end of this corridor, meaning that if she wants to leave she will have to crawl over the dude's desk.
And I don't doubt for a moment that she would shatter everything on his desk if it meant showing what a badass she is.
But amazingly she somehow manages to drift past the desk, ghostlike, and waves at Detective Perry... whom I don't think we've seen before, and will probably never see again.
Oh and look at Perry:
Is it my crazy fevered imagination, or does he look:
- Vaguely befuddled that Anita has just interrupted his meeting to wave bye-bye?
- A whole lot blacker than he was a frame ago?
Then Anita shows us a VITAL CLUE: a real estate card! Yeah, because real estate agents know everything about the clients they sell houses to, and they only handle one client at a time.
Or, considering the money and powers at their disposal, they could be in Southeast Asia by now. But hey, St. Louis is to LKH as NYC is to many New Yorkers - anything worth knowing about only happens there.
So anyway, Anita has figured out (by having all the evidence neatly arranged on a silver platter and plopped in her lap) that this is the dead woman that Edward was talking about. So why isn't she telling the cops? Even she says there's no reason. She calls Edward's callback number, and sits around being melodramatic: Then I waited. Watching the sun pass overhead, knowing eery minute cost us daylight. Cost us what little advantage we had over the monsters. This would be more dramatic if she ever USED this advantage. Instead, she does the dangerous crap at night and the detective work during the day. Our hero.
So next we see Anita talking into a phone that looks like a Twinkie: "Thanks for calling back." Uh, is she talking to the lady from the answering service? I assume that it's meant to be Edward, but nothing is explicitly stated. For all I know, she IS talking to the lady.
Anyway, the person on the other end who may be Edward says that, "I don't recognize the number. Where are you calling from?" So what, an elite assassin actually expects everybody to call him from an easily-traced line? I would expect the REVERSE. Anita replies that she's calling from a phone booth... ah, the 80s and 90s. Remember phone booths? I barely do. By the time I was a kid, they had morphed into kiosks. Now you're lucky to find those.
And Edward has apparently been infected with dumbassitis, because he asks, "Why not call from your office or home?" Well, Eddiekins, here's a brilliant question - do you think that ANYBODY wants to explain to their boss why they were calling an assassin from their office, especially if they are a vampire hunter calling a guy who specializes in KILLING SUPERNATURALS? And if they're planning to do some legally questionable shit, do you think that they want to risk the police CHECKING THEIR PHONE RECORDS?
Seriously. You would expect an allegedly elite assassin to be slightly smarter than, oh, I dunno, ANITA.
In fact, this is so stupid that even Anita calls him out on that: "I'm talking to a professional assassin, call me paranoid, but I thought a phone booth would be safer." And no, that comma in place of a period is in the comics too. I even magnified the image to make sure that it is what it looked like. It's a comma. Ah, Laurell K. Hamilton's prose. Yaycakes.
Since we have to be reminded at all times that Anita Supposedly Kicks Ass and that It's A Dark Nasty World, Edward replies that, "Paranoid is just another word for staying alive in our business, Anita." Well, then why did you ask her why she didn't call from her home/office? If paranoia is supposed to be the norm (or rather, a justification for Anita's antisocial snottiness), why would he expect anything LESS than that? HALF A PAGE is devoted to this conversation that serves no purpose except for LKH to make a totally illogical faux-cool statement.
For once, I can agree with Anita's pretentious internal monologue. She IS in the same business as Edward... which leaves me wondering, why is this supposed to be our HEROINE? Because she's the main character? Not good enough.
So then Anita asks if Edward wants to be her backup.
MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! = my reaction to the idea of Edward backing Anita Blake, Mother Beater up.
Amazingly, that isn't also Edward's reaction, even though he shot down the idea of working with Anita earlier in the SAME ISSUE. Apparently having Anita tell him crap he already knows has somehow swayed his opinion of her to "Almost As Awesome And Bloodthirsty As Me."
- "I know less than you do, but more than I did before! Be impressed!"
- I love how Anita fails to mention how she got this information. All she did was sit there and eavesdrop on the guy who walked into the police station and conveniently spilled his guts eight feet from where she was sitting, in a HALLWAY instead of an office. She didn't do any basic detective work, like the jobs or marital statuses of the various women that were found. It was all dumb luck.
- Edward is looking dumber and less badass with every word Anita says. So let me get this straight: Mr. Hardcore Lethal Assassin knew that the vampires were crashing at one of this lady's real estate properties, but he can't even be bothered to check them out? I mean, there are only so many properties one broker can juggle!
- Does this mean Edward is too lazy to bother driving around a list of addresses and checking to see if vampires are hiding in them, so he just tried to manipulate a dumbass into doing his research for him?
- ... then again, this is by an author who regularly asks fans on twitter to look up stuff for her.
- Because it's way cooler if you're a vigilante!
- Given that apparently the cops will drag judges out of bed to give warrants to Anita, I doubt it would take long.
- Okay, let's say for the sake of argument that it would take a long time to get those warrants. Why can't she just tip off vampire hunters in THOSE jurisdictions? Given the skills and knowledge required to be one, I imagine there are a lot of them.
- So why can't Anita just tell the vampire hunter in the relevant jurisdiction, the person gets an instant warrant and the cops capture and kill all the evil vampires?
- Answer: because then Anita wouldn't get to have center stage. It's AAAAAAALLLLLLLL ABOUT ANITA.
Edward points out that she might even sell houses in Illinois, and Anita insists that inexplicably it will take "hours, or even days" to get warrants even though it's already been shown that as a Sue, she can get a license to kill whenever she wants.
And since just talking to Anita makes you get dumber, Edward asks, "Does your warrant cover Illinois?" Uh, she said two panels ago that she couldn't get a warrant quickly in other jurisdictions, let alone other states! Is Edward even LISTENING? Anita must be hoping so because she replies that, "Illinois is one of the states I'm licensed for." Yeah, and if you don't have a warrant that means jackshit. Stop trying to pretend that this is legit.
Edward replies that, "So, I give you the locations. Then what?" Has he not figured out how this works?
I'm not entirely sure how valuable this information is to Edward. As we later see, he has no problem taking out a LOT of humans and vampires at the same time all on his own... so why the hell does he need to know EXACTLY how many vampires and humans there were?
Then Edward tells Anita the addresses she wants in exchange for a really minor piece of information.
Yeah, if she kills somebody it'll be because she wanted to pin a crime on an innocent person, and deliberately implicates them with the most contrived and flimsy of evidence. It's pretty hilarious that they're basically wandering from house to house and barging in waving their weapons.
So Manny says he senses sleeping vampires, and we have a pointless two-panel conversation about how Anita can't sense vampires except when they're awake. I wonder if THIS is a lie too, or if LKH just forgot the established rules... again.
And so they charge in in the most hilariously over-the-top manner you can imagine:
I mean honestly, could they have another cliche they throw into the mix? Not only is Manny literally kicking the door in (have these people never heard of DOORKNOBS?), but Anita is waving a giant phallic gun around and Manny is waving around a hammer and a giant cross! The only way they could look sillier is if they had a SuperSoaker filled with holy water.
Also, why is Manny holding a hammer? It's useless without a stake. Does he plan to hammer that cross into somebody?
So they start menacing and threatening the humans, and honestly I can't see a single piece of evidence that these people are actually connected to the serial killings. Okay, they're in a house that's up for sale. Lots of people live in houses that are on the market, especially if they can't afford to have two mortgages. Vampires? They could have roommates. There is LITERALLY no evidence that these people have done anything wrong, or are in any way connected to the vampire killings.
But because they're in a house with vampires, they're presumed guilty and they suddenly have insane people bursting in and threatening to kill them. I would love it if it turned out that the vampires were relatives who are staying with them, and that these people have nothing to do with the crimes. It would be so fun to have Anita charged with all sorts of shit.
"Yes, your honor, I did barge in and threaten them with a gun. Yes, we did threaten to murder them in cold blood. No, we didn't have any actual evidence that they or the vampires they were living with had anything to do with the crimes. No, we didn't have a warrant which would make any vampire killings murder.... but all vampires are guilty!"
And Manny proves to be Mr. Diplomacy:
- "Cooperate and I won't smash your TV with my little hammer!"
- Yeah, these vampire executioners are a nice bunch. "We can hurt you as much as we want! Haha!"
- So, if these poor people actually AREN'T connected to the vampires and don't know anything about it, Anita and Manny plan to torture and/or kill them for the information they don't know? How lovely.
Oh, marvel at how compassionate Anita is. Ooooh, she feels so sorry for these people that she's helping threaten with death. Compassion that seems absent whenever SHE wants to threaten people with death. Of course, they'd be better off without Anita's compassion, given that the last time she felt sorry for someone she beat them to the ground.
So while they're on their way down to the basement, Anita takes the chance to whine some more.
Hey dumbass? Recall that you don't HAVE a warrant of execution. You said that a few pages ago!
Additionally, this whole racing-against-the-clock thing is less dramatic when a person realizes that if she had just notified vampire hunters in OTHER jurisdictions, they could have already checked all those houses and killed all the evil vampires by now. Instead, Anita does the Sooper-Dangerous shit because she can't stand to be out of the spotlight for even one case.
Also, stop talking about "full dark." It's already been established that you only wanna hunt vampires when it IS dark, because it isn't as badass to hunt then when it's daytime.
Instead, it gives Anita another chance to whine about what a drag law and order is, because it keeps her from charging around waving her phallic weapons whenever she likes. "If the lawmakers only knew how much more dangerous they made our job, trying to protect the rights of our undead citizens." Yeah! Citizens shouldn't have rights if they interfere with Anita's job! Why do the lawmakers have to be such wussypussies about annoying little things like "due process" and "citizens' rights"? Why can't they just let Anita kill whoever she wants whenever she wants?
- Holy crap, do they have anorexic child vampires down there? Those coffins are way too short and narrow, not to mention pretty shallow.
- Notice how they're presumed to be guilty until proven innocent.
- "Pay no attention to the vampire behind the curtain!"
So Anita starts snarling at the people and insisting, "I've seen your killing grounds. You guys don't sweat legal."Very few people sweat legal. They usually sweat... sweat.
And of course by snarl, I mean doing this face:
Yes, doesn't that face just SCREAM anger? If you make my mad, I will open my mouth slightly wider!
Then Anita notices... something. We don't know what tips her off, but suddenly she realizes, "Crap, I didn't check behind the door." I can see why vampires are scared of her. Additionally, a close up picture shows her amazement, shock and horror...
... and by amazement, shock and horror, I mean dull surprise.
Ah, Mike and the bots make every crappy comic a little more bearable. So while Anita is failing to emote, some bald dude has leaped out and is holding a knife to Manny's neck. Manny also seems to be reacting with dull surprise to this, but he also tells Anita not to drop her gun because, "They're going to kill us anyway." You know, exclamation marks were invented for situations like this. Everybody is calmly stating stuff, even the guy who's yelling at Anita to drop the gun.
It also turns out that there are at least eight people with guns in the room.
.. and, of course, if she shoots Bald Dude the various gunslinging human servants will immediately shoot BOTH of them. Also, I love that pink-shirted chick. She's just posing like an underwear model, as if there weren't a massive standoff going on.
"What did I teach you?" Uhhhhh.... not much, or I would have checked behind the doors. I'm assuming the first pink box is intended to be whatever Manny taught her, but it's hard to tell without any quote marks. It might just be Anita trying and failing to sound hardcore and awesome.
And just a disclaimer on this next point: I have never been held captive by a knife-wielding maniac with every intention of brutally killing me.... but then again, I doubt Laurell K. Hamilton has either. If I were in a true no-win situation, being attacked by that guy and telling my partner to let me die, I'd probably hit Bald Dude with that GIANT CROSS in my hand. Sure, I'd die, but at least I could go out fast and easily while possibly distracting the bad guys long enough for my partner to escape. So why isn't Manny moving?!
No, we don't see Anita throw her gun down. Instead we instantly cut to her and Manny in chains.
"They are going to force us to watch a movie marathon. And not good movies, oh no! They are going to make us watch Batman and Robin, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Christmas with the Kranks, Manos the Hands of Fate, Gigli, Monster-a-Go-Go, Hobgoblins, Troll 2, and every movie ever produced by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer! Thanks, Anita! Thanks a lot! I could be dead now, but instead I'm going to be treated to Epic Movie!"
But before the movie marathon, the evil human servants start punching Manny and beating him with a bat. Anita.... just sorta sits there and watching. Also, the bad guys suddenly have a heap of wood and a nice little campfire crackling on the cement floor:
"Pass the marshmallows! We're makin' s'mores!"
Seriously, where did that shit come from? And given that there's no wood piled in the center, how is it burning?
Anyway, it turns out that a crazy guy is planning to put the fire to use, and is dribbling that, "I love doing this." If you love doing it, how come you don't have a gas heater like ranches have, instead of building a lame little campfire on the FLOOR?
A small question: Where do you even buy a cross-shaped brand? I guess some people do branding as scarification, so perhaps you can find it at specialized stores... where was I?
Oh yeah, while this guy is talking about his personal hobbies, Anita demonstrates again that she is possibly the worst detective in the world. "I didn't want to know what they were going to do with it. I was too afraid I already knew." So... she isn't sure? There's a crazy-eyed man with a yellow-hot branding iron coming toward them, and she doesn't want to know... because she only THINKS she knows what he's planning?
And since Anita's toilet-paper colored face must never be marred, they decide to brand her instead of beating her up. Personally if I had to choose between branding Anita and beating the crap out of her, I'd choose the second option... if nothing else because of her lame retorts like this:
"Some evil henchmen you are"? This coming from a woman who snidely told Zerbrowski to not mix up fact and fiction. Of course, her linguistic lameness is only matched by "You want evil. We can do evil"... which doesn't even really work as a lame comment, because the first sentence should be a question. See, look at this:
- "You want evil? We can do evil."
- "You want evil. We can do evil."
The first one is a lame retort to an equally lame quip. The latter is a robotic reply to the request that you "do evil."
So Crazy Blond guy brands Anita's arm, and she.... doesn't really react. Anita's meant to be an uber macho tuff woman who never shows pain or fear, so she basically doesn't react to having burning hot iron shoved into one of the most sensitive parts of her body, IE the inner wrist. In fact, her reaction is so bland that they don't bother showing her face. Instead we get this:
- "You are like, SO dead! You TOTALLY messed up my winter white skin, and these goons are ruining my gorgeous manicure! If they don't have this shade of nail polish anymore, I am like TOTALLY going to kill you."
- Is there some legal way we can prevent LKH from writing dialogue between the bad guys and the "heroine"? This scene might actually be a bit disturbing if Anita weren't offering her best witty retorts which are so limp that you could pour spaghetti sauce on them and serve them to your family.
- HOLY SHIT is that blond guy mutating? Suddenly his head is a totally different shape, one of his eyes is glowing and the other one is turning into a black hole.
And after that.... uh... I think she passes out or falls asleep or something. You can't really tell. One minute she's intelligible enough to offer the wittiest threats that a thirteen-year-old can offer, and the next we have a pitch-black panel with no transitions at all. I'm so confused.
"Help! They're power-washing me!"
And yes, in case you are new to LKH, EVERYTHING having to do with supernatural stuff feels like power, washes, whispers, stuff across her skin, tasting on the back of her tongue, blah blah blah.
And just as abruptly, this happens:
"Wait! I'm not scheduled for a lesbian kiss until Danse Macabre, and I don't have real lesbian sex until Bullet!"
"... what the hell are you talking about?"
"I'm Anita Blake, the Executioner! Every vampire wants to have sex with me!"
"Can I kill her now?"
So apparently the vampires have all woken up. Wow, Anita, aren't you glad you didn't tell the cops, didn't wait for nightfall, and instead went bumbling in with no backup and nobody who knows where you are? Another big fat FAIL on our allegedly asskicking heroine.
Oh, and Adam is here. Remember him? He was that random vampire who almost certainly couldn't have killed the kid, but Anita decided he was a suspect because he happened to live nearby. Yep, he's one of this evil vampire gang (I refuse to say "kiss"), even though there was.... literally nothing to link him to any of the crimes.
So why is he jammed in there for no reason? Because apparently LKH thinks that it makes Anita look like an awesome detective! Somebody she was suspicious of turned out to be a bad guy! Even though she was suspicious for no legitimate reason at all! Be amazed! Marvel at her superior detective skills! Suck on THIS, Jim Butcher!
So, who are the vampires in here?
- A sulky guy in a trenchcoat who looks like he's wondering what the hell he's doing in this sad attempt at fantasy noir.
- A skinny chick with giant tits and blond hair. Clearly she is the incarnation of evil.
- Billy Idol.
- A refugee from an Oscar Wilde play.
- And of course, the carrot-topped vampire chick in a dress with Grand Canyon cleavage, her tits hanging out for no reason, and her legs splayed out. Wanna bet that Anita will probably be flaunting a similar outfit in LKH's next novel?
And pray tell, what is "the hunt"? Is it a fox hunt? A deer hunt? A bug hunt?
OH FUCK NO. Sonavabitch!
I swear, you can sniff out a hack author by how often they ignore the all important rules of of how an evil villain should conduct themselves! I mean, if your hero is so pathetic that they get themselves into life-or-death situations that can ONLY be escaped if the villains are stupid enough to let their prisoners go on a runaround, then they DESERVE to die and let some COMPETENT heroes take center stage. And they deserve to die a slow painful death if they got into this situation out of their own idiocy.
Trenchcoat Dude is apparently a bit more genre-savvy than anyone else in this comic book. I like him already. "I wouldn't do that. She's tougher than she looks." Well, if you're tied up, she is. S&M Barbie Vampire's reply is, "Well, I would have hunted the man, but you've broken him so badly that he can't walk unaided, let alone run. I'm very put out with you for injuring him so badly." "I might have actually gotten an opponent who can fight back!"
Actually, it doesn't make sense that they'd beat up Manny so badly. I mean, Anita is the only one that they've actually connected to the death of any of their comrades, the only one that has been allegedly investigating them, and she's supposed to be the ULTIMATE SCARY BADASS of the vampire world. Yet when they have her and some other random guy in their clutches, who do they beat almost to death? THE OTHER GUY! So why the hell wouldn't they off the "executioner" when she's in their clutches? Because she's a Sue, and God forbid anyone else save the day!
We also get a grim shot of Manny chained to the wall. And then.... suddenly, with no transition, Anita is running up the stairs. Yeah, she goes from chained-to-the-wall to running away without anyone unchaining her or telling her that "they were going to give me a ten-minute head start." Because it's so much more fun to have Anita MONOLOGUE it.
"Watch as I run in a freakishly knock-kneed manner, waving my arms around! Also, fear causes my hair to grow another foot!"
You know, for someone who constantly preens about what a jaded badass she is, Anita's pretty damn naive. Why shouldn't the vampire snap his neck or drink his blood while she's scampering upstairs? I mean, they didn't agree to keep him alive until they caught her. Additionally, if he's too "broken" for any kind of fun activities, why would they bother to keep him around? Why wouldn't they just partake in some nice fresh blood before sprinting after Anita?
Additionally, why is she assuming that they're telling the truth about a ten-minute head start? These people are MURDERERS, but it never occurred to her that they might also be LIARS?
"Back off, vampires! Or I will STAB YOUR PHONE!" Seriously, why does she pick up the phone and then a knife? Is there some reason she has to have both in her hands at the same time?
Anita then checks cupboards for matches, which is pretty dumb since you would expect that the vampires would remove all items that could be used against them. "Sweet. Now where are the freaking matches?" Sweet what? You say "sweet" when something good has happened, or sarcastically when something bad has happened. Buuutttt.... nothing happened to make her see this. Missing panels are fun!
Then suddenly the floor is wet and Anita is rattling around at the counter. Two panels AFTER she got the phone, she finally decides to use it.
... I gotta say, the vampires seem to be slightly smarter than Anita. Not much, but slightly.
- Why is everything wet? I mean, did Anita pee herself in a big way?
- These vampires may be smarter than her, but they still aren't too bright - why did they leave all sorts of big sharp objects in the frigging kitchen? If I were an evil vampire playing with my food, I would remove all pointy objects before releasing them, and replace them with bendy straws and doggy toys.
- Then again, I'd have beaten Anita to a reddish smear on the wall.
- 3. Let's see, I can see a poorly-drawn funnel.... meaning she's been putting water in bottles. Yeah, unless you have a priest in your pocket to bless that water, I can't see it being very helpful.
And then... suddenly there are vampires in the kitchen and Anita is fighting them.
... okay, where did they come from? Last panel we could clearly see at least half the kitchen, and there were no vampires there. We are also not shown them approaching, any opening doors, any creaky floors, or anything. Do vampires have teleportation powers? And if they do, how does Anita know when they arrive? She goes from picking through a cutlery drawer to suddenly facing the opposite direction and whupping vampires.
Also, this whole shot is just stupid.
- So Anita is somehow magically able to smack that vampire chick in the mouth when she wasn't even facing that direction?
- What is happening to that guy's hand? Is it being mummified?
- Wait a second... is LKH seriously writing that Anita splashed water all over the floor (between panels) so she could make the vampires SLIP on it? The superpowered superstrong superfast superhuman vampires can be immobilized by a PUDDLE?
Wait, I think I know what will happen next: Anita will smash open a gumball machine, sending the gumballs all over the floor and causing the vampires to dance clumsily before they fall flat and pass out. Then she'll rig a Home-Alone-style machine involving cream-pies and a cinder block, which will whack one of the vampires and send him flying down the stairs! Then she'll fake one of them out with a remote-controlled toy, yank the rug out from under him, and send him flying through the window!
See how silly that sounds?
Then Anita splashes both vampires with a wide dramatic arc of water... wasting a whole lot of the liquid because it ends up falling on both sides of her.
Amazingly, she actually gets some of that liquid on them. I'm... not sure what it's meant to be. Is that water? Because LKH hasn't TOLD us what the liquid is.
Also... uhhhh... wait, that girl is a human and not a vampire - I recognize her belly shirt. Why are the vampires sending HUMANS after Anita if the whole point is that the VAMPIRES want to chase her?!
The Anita Blake Slip'n'Slide! Have lots of summer fun, slipping and sliding on a floor full of blood while you stab random people! Lots of fun for the whole family!
I honestly love this picture, because it's just so CRACKY. It represents all the pretentious crap that the Anita Blake series is all about - it doesn't make any sense, but LKH thinks it looks cool and badass. Anita is apparently sliding along the bloodstained floor on her butt, but amazingly has enough leverage to kill TWO PEOPLE at the same time.
Additionally, the amount of blood is comically silly - now it appears that Anita cut the woman's throat, which could certainly produce plenty of blood. But the man... uh, she stabbed him once and hasn't even withdrawn the knife, yet somehow he's covered in blood. And where did all the blood on the floor come from? It's like the water on the floor suddenly becomes blood... for no reason. Because it looks cool. And stuff.
Adam suddenly leaps at Anita out of nowhere.... and falls on her knife. Yeah. That was just pathetic.
Warning: YoungBlood's Disease may be contagious!
"Look mommy, I'm flying!"
So then the vampire in Victorian finery teleports behind Anita. Choppy editing is FUN!
.... yeah, that's pretty menacing. "Ow, not my hair! Not my uniquely black and curly half-Mexican hair! It has to be pretty and flowy! Anything but the hair!"
Anyway, I would like to bring up that we have never seen this vampire again, and we will only see her a few times after this. I don't really remember his name, and it isn't really important. My point: this guy has never ever EVER been a suspect, and our Great Pouty Detective never even came close to him. Guess how she finds out what crimes HE'S committed?
Yeah, she doesn't have to figure it out. He just TELLS her.
- Yes, from behind Anita looks just like a boy - giant ass, wasp waist, thick thighs, long curly hair. That's just what little boys look like.
- "Was he confessing to what I thought he was confessing to?" No, he's confessing to shoplifting. Dumbass.
- This is yet another case of AnitaBlakeitis - everybody desperately wants to have sex with Anita except Evil Prudes. She has sex with straight men (all two of them in the ABverse), bisexual men, and even the occasional almost-gay man, and they all froth with lust because she is just so SEXY. And now apparently a gay pedophile wants her!
- This is about as satisfying as you'd expect an LKH mystery to be. Anita never solves any mysteries, gathers any clues, checks any suspects... no, people tell her all the important stuff.
- DULL SURPRISE!
Since the vampires are made extra stupid so Anita can defeat them, PedoVamp didn't bother to take away the giant butcher knife in Anita's hand, so she stabs him. Uh.... I think she stabbed him in the... no, I can't tell where she stabbed him. In one panel, it looks like she stabbed him in the side or maybe the ass. In the next, the knife is parallel to his forearm.
NO you dumb bint. NO. It was NOT his crime that drew you there, moron. Yes, you originally were looking for PedoVamp, but then you FORGOT ABOUT IT. You haven't been investigating that crime since the middle of last issue! It hasn't even been MENTIONED in more than an issue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's how it works:
- The cops picked up a vampire stripper on JC's evidence.
- Vampire stripper told them where to find the mass grave of ADULT bodies.
- Vampire stripper gives them addresses of evil vamps.
- Vampire stripper gets head blown open by Zerbrowski (not Anita); master speaks through him.
- Anita and Manny go to one of the houses and find a corpse. No vampires found.
- Edward shows up and wants info on the MASS GRAVE killings.
- Anita hears evidence on mass grave killings.
- Anita gets Edward's evidence on mass grave killings.
- Which leads us to the current shitty situation!
In other words, the PedoVamp situation has NO-FUCKING-THING to do with the case that brought Anita to this house! NOT A THING. There is NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER. And of all people she should know that best! What clearly happened is that Laurell K. Hamilton got sidetracked and probably forgot all about the PedoVamp storyline, and later on realized, "Oh yeah, I haven't solved that yet. Wait, I'll just make him part of the same gang!"
So since Anita is allegedly an awesome, kickass, vampire-executing tuff girl who gives vampires daymares and causes them to shake in their 19th-century-reproduction leather boots, she'll get herself out of this horrible mess. It only makes logical sense... right?
Yup, once again Anita has to be rescued from vampires by a man. Clearly she is a feminist hero for our times, and no other woman has ever been as strong and impressive as she is.
Also, what is that muck on Edward's coat? It looks like mud. And why is a lethal kickass assassin wearing a skintight T-shirt that reveals his pecs? I'm not complaining, just wondering.
And oh look, "Prince Charming" is being held hostage by PedoVamp. What an asskicker is she. It's almost as awesome as the time when she blew the head off that... uhhh... or the time when she stopped all those human serv... err... when she stopped that runaway vampire in the police stat... emmmm.... she beat up a housewife!
I have to admit, I love this part because Edward obviously doesn't give a crap about Anita's safety. She's being held in a headlock by a vampire who's using her as a hostage, and Edward is not only preparing to fire at her captor, but he SMILING. I bet he's thinking, "See, this is why I didn't wanna bring you, deadweight. I told you that you weren't good enough to hunt vampires with me."
But since reality reshapes itself to keep Anita from ever getting killed, suddenly a dozen vampires appear and tackle Edward and his ugly-ass boots.
Poor Edward. The Twilight fans keep mixing him up with the other pallid sociopath.
Then suddenly, AGAIN without warning, Anita is being physically thrown out of the building by PedoVamp. No, there doesn't seem to be any actual REASON for him to fling her out of the building. Is the kitchen just too crowded for him to kill her without feeling cramped?
I suspect LKH should have put that disclaimer at the beginning of this book.
Anita tries to maintain her badass image by saying, "I rolled like they'd taught me in judo class." Swoon! Clearly she's SO strong, because only the baddest of asses do martial arts! Seriously, that doesn't look like a roll at all. It looks like she landed upside-downish and flipped onto her back... just the way it would go for ANYBODY.
I also think it's hilarious the theatrical way the PedoVamp is throwing her. He looks like the most flamboyant bowler in the world!
Oh look, a random vial of holy water. Which isn't Anita's, because she made a huge deal of not carrying holy water earlier in the comic, and we never see her packing any or dropping any. And it can't be Manny's because this is the BACK yard and they came in the FRONT. So... someone just randomly dropped a vial of holy water in a vampiric gang's (I WILL NOT SAY "KISS"!) backyard.... so Anita could conveniently find it when she needed it most.
Wait a minute, I'm confused. Is this from the First Death comic, or is this another innocent victim being sucked into Anita's all-consuming vortex of sexual slavery? From the look of his face, it's the latter.
Apparently it's the former: he snaps her arm with his teeth... and no, I don't know why in the above picture he's aiming his teeth at her FACE. I guess he doesn't care that she has boobies now, because he starts slurping on her throat like she's a fresh orange. Anita doesn't bother to struggle.
Also, for some reason, all the various stakes and things are now lying around Anita's body, despite not being there just a minute ago.
Yes folks, this is the first chronological time we see Anita in a position she's soon going to become a pro at. And I do mean that literally.
Anyway, that line "I was beginning to go into shock. I was beginning to die" sounds very cool until you consider further: the vampire hasn't actually drunk much of her blood yet. He broke her arm, and at this point he's gnawing on her collarbone. Yes, that would cause you go to into shock... but shock is not symptomatic of DEATH. Shock can be caused by any semi-major physical injury, or even an emotional blow. But just because you go into shock doesn't mean you are "beginning to die"!
But somehow despite lying there and "beginning to die," Anita grabs a holy water vial and...
Seriously, first and last semi-cool thing that Anita does.... and she couldn't even manage to do it before the vampire snapped her arm in half and chewed on her shoulder. And even when she splashes the holy water on his face, she still manages to spill most of it on the ground behind her. Avoid sitting near her at restaurants if she drinks like that.
So the evil vampire runs back into the house, and I'm sure we'll NEEEEEEEEVVVEEEERRRRR see him again. Right.
Then suddenly - between two panels - the ENTIRE house is on fire and Edward is coming out with Manny. Anita holds Manny, and we see her concern for him in her expression of Dull Surprise. And now for the very first time in this comic book, a half-page panel is actually devoted to something MIND-BLOWINGLY AWESOME.
Exactly. Edward is blasting the flesh off killer vampires with a FLAMETHROWER. That is wild. That is awesome. That is the sort of crap we want in a story with the title "Vampire Hunter." So naturally, our alleged vampire hunter doesn't do anything even HALFWAY this awesome. Why is this series about Anita Blake again?
Tragically, this moment is ended far too soon because LKH cannot bring herself to show Edward's awesomeness instead of Anita sitting there being ineffectual.
It's time for the TICKLES! (and is that a butterfly off to the side of Edward?)
So Anita yells the usual "Edward! Behind you!" and fires her gun at whatever it is. It turns out to be that vampire dressed like a Wild West whore. Hell, given LKH's tendency to have her vampires never change their styles, she might actually have been one. The art is also so bad that I initially didn't recognize her.
Anyway, as you can guess, Anita's bullet merely evokes an expression of Dull Surprise from Vampire Whore. Anita keeps firing at her repeatedly, but pretty obviously that doesn't have much of an effect. Anita shooting a gun seems to have the same effect on a vampire as squirting them with apple juice... especially since Anita seems to be shooting the same way she splashes water. Instead, VampWhore gets killed by this:
Two people are firing at this women. Which one do you think is actually making a difference?
Seriously, Edward may be wearing ridiculous, ugly and clunky boots that look like Judge Dredd's unfashionable castoffs, but he is a god compared to the sad ineffectual sack known as Anita. He has a FLAMETHROWER and he burns vampires alive with it. Again, why are we supposed to be impressed by Anita?!
So since the house is on fire, they hear sirens and Edward announces, "Those sirens are my cue to leave." "I have a crippling phobia of firefighters!"
Anita confirms that she gets to take all the credit for killing the vampires and burning the building down. We then have a full-page of Anita and Edward sitting there and talking and HOLY SHIT.
I know Edward is awesome and everything, but can somebody PLEASE force him to buy some boots that don't make my eyes burn?
And Anita honestly looks like she's been splashed with tomato soup, not blood.
Additionally, for someone who proclaimed melodramatically that she was "beginning to die" about two minutes ago, she seems to be just fine. In fact, she's having a normal conversation with Edward and thrusting her breasts at him in case he's failed to notice them. Also, her face is back in the usual expression of Dull Surprise.
At this point, LKH seems to realize that she's burned through countless pages with pointless dialogue and scenes that go nowhere. So no, we don't see Manny in the hospital or hear about how he ended up retiring as a vampire hunter, or even hear about what happened with Anita's injured body parts. We just see Anita walking out of a hospital exit, and blandly saying,
Yeah, thanks for cramming that in at the very end instead of showing this powerful and deeply emotional moment to us. It's much more important to have Zerbrowski ogling Anita's ass than to show the results of her idiotic decisions.
Then without warning... no, literally without warning...
Just so you know, there is no indication that anything tipped Anita off to Edward's presence. Suddenly she just turns and yells.
Anita's answer to Edward's question is another futile attempt at seeming awesome: "In my pocket, with my finger on the trigger. You damn near got shot." Wait a second... yes, I confirmed it: Anita isn't wearing a sling, a cast or even a heavy bandage on her collarbone or arm. In fact, she's still wearing her jacket, with her arm in the sleeve. Did LKH just FORGET that Anita was INJURED? Is this supposed to be weeks later - and if so, why doesn't it say anything about how long it's been?
So let me get this straight, Edward was SO impressed by her waltzing into the vampire house, getting her ass kicked and needing to be rescued AGAIN (and getting chewed up like a rawhide bone in the process), proving that she is just as inept as he originally said... that he wants her to come HELP him with the elite skillz she just demonstrated? I can only assume that he wants to use her as bait.
Also... that comment about "healed up" seems to indicate that this is right after the events of the previous scene... yet there's not a single sign of ANITA'S INJURIES. This is such a JOKE.
Anita insists that she's already healed and going vampire hunting tonight, and that "the police are going to be my company tonight." Yup, remember her wanking about how awful it would be if they waited until night to attack the vampire house?
- Who cares who Edward kills? It's sure to be awesomer than anything YOU do.
- Who cares who you kill? I'm sure they're a more law-abiding citizen than you are.
- Yes, because "holding the body down" is the easy part of killing a superpowered superstrong undead creature. The hard part is sticking a pointy object in the body.
- "The vampires call me the Executioner... but nobody really knows why."
- ... or alternately, I might just cower pathetically and occasionally fire my gun with no actual results. Then when the cops save the day, I'll just take the credit.