Pat Mills and Oliver Ledroit - Requiem Vampire Knight: Volumes 3 & 4 (4 stars)

A genuinely funny, smart and action-packed romp

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Pat Mills and Oliver Ledroit - Requiem Vampire Knight: Volumes 3 & 4

(Panini Books/Nickel)

Originally published in French, we finally get the English translations of the third and fourth collected volumes of the Pat Mills horror tale set in the depths of hell. It’s a world where our codes and morals are inverted, where evil is rewarded and good despised. Mills has perhaps created the ultimate anti-hero in Requiem, a Nazi who committed heinous acts in his lifetime but now seems to be trying to atone for those sins in hell. These further volumes thrust us deeper into the political machinations of the warring factions that rule the underworld, giving Mills an even broader canvas for his biting satire.

Layering this nightmarish world with dark metaphors (zombies are the working classes, vampires the ruling elite, drugs and corrupt commerce abound) as the inequalities in our society are held up to a warped mirror. While this is most defiantly for ‘mature readers only’, packed as it is with gore, baboon sex, blood and lust, it’s also a bawdy comedy that owes as much debt to Benny Hill as Jonathan Swift.

Mills has really hit his stride with Requiem; now the rules have been established in the opening collections, he can spend his time fleshing out the details and characters. Olivier Ledroit’s distinctive art once again brings Mills’ hugely complex imaginary world to life with his exquisitely detailed and vivid, full-colour pages which add another level of visual Grand Guignol and twisted humour. A genuinely funny, smart and action-packed romp.

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