Friday, December 18, 2015

The Standard: Vampires

Sluggy Freelance continues to call back to it's past with call back to the original Vampires story.

It's not the first time the well has been returned to, but I don't remember the other times very well.  Considering they were all Sam centered stories (as he is a vampire), that's not all that unsurprising.  The main one happened right before That Which Redeems, so that might be why I don't remember it well (over a decade ago, I might add).

But it actually reaches all the way back to that original story by tying up a loose end I don't think anyone remembered was a loose end.  That said, as soon as I saw it, I remembered the scene, so there's that.

The original Vampires storyline though is significant for Sluggy, as it was the first serious story of the comic, coming right at the beginning of the comic's second year.  I covered the first year in detail, so no point going over that, but I did reread the Vampires story.  It's a culmination event, surprisingly, as the various elements of the last year finally came together to drive the story forward, from Alyee's fear of Riff, to Val's sudden attraction to Torg.

That's not to say it is high quality, compared to early Sluggy it was something new and exciting.  There was a real sense of danger there at the time.  Torg and Zoe were in actual, factual danger throughout the story, and given the idea that the comic was supposed to have a revolving cast, maybe this was where Abrams was going to start the cull.  He didn't, in the end, perhaps this changed his mind.

It's not bad, I should say.  I enjoyed the silliness of it, but it isn't anything special.  Later stories would far exceed it, but it set a pattern of abilities and responses.  Alyee and Bun Bun would always be the muscle, Kiki would be distracted and poop, Riff would be reliable, but build something unreliable, etc, etc.  Sam continues to be kind of dumb, both on purpose and because, well, he is.  I think he got dumber after this, for comedic effect I assume.

Being the first also means it tried to wrap things up quickly.  Only took a couple of months really, after quite a bit of set up.  Still, it changed what "story" meant in Sluggy, and nothing was the same after that.  The path of modern Sluggy began with the end of the Vamipres story.

The fact that he's calling back to it now, 17 years later, shows how important it really is to the comic as a whole.  The end of the comic is still some time in the future, but now it's closer than ever.

Next time, I talk a bit about Schlock Mercenary.  Until then kiddies.

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