Advance Review: ‘Night Club’ #1 Is A Thrilling, Blood-Spilling, Dynamic Debut From Mark Millar And Juanan Ramíez

by Olly MacNamee


Mark Millar and Juanan Ramíez’s ‘Night Club’ #1 has a lot to sink your teeth into. While, as the evidence of most of the first issue suggests, it seems to be offering up yet another tale of vampires in the modern world, our hero and newly-turned vampire, Danny Garcia, has other plans. A fun, thrilling, blood-spilling debut issue with plenty of bite and promise. And just $1.99 an issue!


Meet Danny Garcia, would-be YouTube star who’s life is not going anywhere near what he was expecting when he took his bike out one day to launch his new media career, only to launch himself into big, fatal trouble and into the arms of a secretive vampire war instead.

Mark Millar and Juanan Ramíez’s Night Club #1 does a great job of establishing the main cast of characters, motivation and mystery, all at an appropriate pace for a comic that has fast-paced action as well as deals in the more sombre moments of grief. The grief felt from Danny’s near-death which his family and friends must go through, before Danny is turned, in a satisfyingly shocking splash-page reveal. A reveal that Ramíez portrays with a flair of the dramatic, thanks to the liberal use of lines of perspective pulling the reader into the frame and the cold, dark embrace of Danny’s new lord and master. 

And even after we have learnt why Danny has been turned, and for what purpose, the closing two pages of this debut issue would suggest Danny has his own plans. Somewhat given away by the synopsis of the issue put out by Image Comics, but a surprise nonetheless given where I thought the story was going. Of course, we do get the inevitable training scenes any newbie vampire is often is subjected to, doubling up as nifty exposition to set the ground rules for this particular vampire species. But again, thanks to the pacing, while it is necessary, it isn’t an overlong scene, and thanks to Ramíez, never dull. It certainly gives the readers a sense of the awesome power set Danny now has and his limitations as a vampire. Y’know the sun, wooden stakes through the heart, that kind of thing. Plus, an intriguing mentor who seems to keep more than a big toe in the world of humans, given his profession. Well, other than being a full-time vampire, of course. 

Of course, as a vampire story, there has to be a lot of darkness and night-time scenarios, which are never muddy or dark, thanks to the colour work of Fabiana Mascolo, who uses a remarkable variety of colours given the situation. All better establishing the various times of day each scene takes place in.

Of course, ring mastering all of this is writer Millar who once again takes a well-established genre and more than hints at turning convention on its head. And, thereby playing with readers’ pre-conceived expectations of the genre. Especially as the final page reveal – and such a cool, cool pose from Ramíez – successes more of a hybrid genre moving forward.

It’s interesting enough that Danny has been turned for a specific reason, itself promising a bigger, wider canvas on which to tell this vampiric story. But, with the inclusion of a completely different genre, with its own well-trodden tropes, Night Club #1 promises thrills, spills (blood, mainly) and a fair few surprises ahead. 

Night Club #1 is out Wednesday 14th December from Image Comics

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