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Vampire the Masquerade: Giovanni
Publisher: Moonstone
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2020 05:14:27

Moonstone Clan Comics Review: I decided to purchase all of the old Moonstone VTM comics in anticipation for the upcoming ones from Vault Comics, and wow, these things sure are a product of their era. Oftentimes they’re edgy for the sake of being edgy, lacking even the semblance of substance. The characters are often poorly fleshed out and completely unbelievable. Everything that happens in the narrative is there only to throw you off the trail of the inevitable, horribly convoluted and nonsensical twist. There are constant red herrings throughout and then when the twist happens, you’re left in shock at the utter stupidity. But for that reason, they can be genuinely entertaining, like a B-movie.

Giovanni Review: The plot here focuses on the two characters being conscripted to bid on a painting for Pietro Giovanni and the hijinks that ensue thereof. This comic is only 52 pages long and I stopped reading to take a break multiple times because I was so bored.

The two main characters, Isabel and Madeleine look very similar, being the same skin-tone and both having shoulder-length black hair, so initially there were times I was confused as to who was talking. There are minor differences that I got the hang of after a little bit, as one has wavy hair and the other has straight hair with bangs, and they wear different (albeit black) outfits. But even with those differences, it’s clear that even the creators were confused because there is one point^ where Madeleine calls the other character “Madeleine”.

Who is talking doesn’t really matter, though. Both characters are supposed to be knowledgeable and competent, but because they needed to explain what’s going on to the reader, one will randomly ask the other a fledgling-level question, or one will explain something to the other that you’d think wouldn’t need explaining. Madeleine is younger than Isabel, so you’d think they would reserve the audience stand-in role for her and the mentor role for Isabel, but this role shifts throughout the story. One of the main characters has a soft-spot for orphans, but this element is just there - it serves no purpose, other than to fill pages because the story is paper-thin. The traits given to them just never affect anything in any meaningful way.

It ineptly tries to make a theme about methods of ruling: ruling by being feared versus ruling by being loved. But whatever point was trying to be made doesn’t land because the characters don’t articulate their points well.

And finally, this story focuses exclusively on the mafia-like qualities of the clan and doesn’t even mention Necromancy. Which… I mean… why? Why would you make a Giovanni comic and completely ignore that aspect of the clan? There’s also a reference to a vampire’s bite being a mix of pleasure and pain, and this is said by a Giovanni to a fellow Giovanni. But a Giovanni’s bite is strictly painful. Did they forget the clan weakness?

Like the others in this series, there’s a twist at the end. This one made me sigh, but at least I wasn’t horribly frustrated by it.

^If you buy this, it happens on page 41



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire the Masquerade: Giovanni
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Vampire the Masquerade: Theo Bell
Publisher: Moonstone
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2020 05:13:07

I’ve already covered the clan issues, so now I’m on to the issues following the exploits of signature VTM characters. This one tells the story of a city in chaos and the resulting fighting and scheming for power. It’s an oft-used tabletop scenario put to the page. It follows Theo Bell (of whom we get the internal monologue, which is often bitter and displays the disdain he has for his position in the Camarilla) as he tries to bring order to a city with an problem involving thin bloods and Masquerade breaches.

In the clan issues, whenever kindred fed, they always either killed or embraced their victim. It’s like the authors were not aware that there was another option. However, here we finally get to see a Kindred practicing restraint and trying to adhere to the tenets of humanity. And for individuals with whom he has to get into combat situations, he shows pity and, occasionally, mercy.

This is so much better than any of the clan issues from Moonstone and I definitely recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire the Masquerade: Theo Bell
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Vampire the Masquerade: Ventrue
Publisher: Moonstone
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2020 04:25:55

Moonstone Clan Comics Review: I decided to purchase all of the old Moonstone VTM clan comics in anticipation for the upcoming run from Vault Comics, and wow, these things sure are a product of their era. Oftentimes they’re edgy for the sake of being edgy, lacking even the semblance of substance. The characters are often poorly fleshed out and completely unbelievable. Everything that happens in the narrative is there only to throw you off the trail of the inevitable, horribly convoluted and nonsensical twist. There are constant red herrings throughout and then when the twist happens, you’re left in shock at the utter stupidity. But for that reason, they can be genuinely entertaining, like a B-movie.

Ventrue Review: In regard to all of the negative things said above, this Ventrue issue is easily the worst offender. None of the characters or events make any sense. There are multiple twists, each dumber than the last. I wish I could complain about every reason the twists are so frustrating and nonsensical, but I won’t spoil the… “story”.

As for the “mature” content: Sex! Murder! Rape! It’s all there and it’s all edgy BS! Of course you can have all of those things and more in a story, but this is so clumsy and juvenile that I was left rolling my eyes. Hell, the Nosferatu issue written by the same author explored the theme of child abuse and pedophilia, but it was done (more or less) with purpose.

I’d recommend this only for the morbidly curious.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire the Masquerade: Ventrue
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Vampire the Masquerade: Toreador
Publisher: Moonstone
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2020 04:10:10

Moonstone Clan Comics Review: I decided to purchase all of the old Moonstone VTM clan comics in anticipation for the upcoming run from Vault Comics, and wow, these things sure are a product of their era. Oftentimes they’re edgy for the sake of being edgy, lacking even the semblance of substance. The characters are often poorly fleshed out and completely unbelievable. Everything that happens in the narrative is there only to throw you off the trail of the inevitable, horribly convoluted and nonsensical twist. There are constant red herrings throughout and then when the twist happens, you’re left in shock at the utter stupidity. But for that reason, they can be genuinely entertaining, like a B-movie.

Toreador Review: Very little happens in this clan issue. Several pages are dedicated to a movie that’s being shown and half of the entire thing is a recounting of the history of vampires. The history doesn’t really match any of the canon I’m aware of and one character even comments that the story isn’t correct, so I’m left wondering what the point of it is. The rest of the comic exists so they can throw in a twist at the end.

That all said, I was mildly entertained and it wasn’t outright bad. Just pointless.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire the Masquerade: Toreador
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Vampire the Masquerade: Nosferatu
Publisher: Moonstone
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2020 04:09:48

Moonstone Clan Comics Review: I decided to purchase all of the old Moonstone VTM clan comics in anticipation for the upcoming run from Vault Comics, and wow, these things sure are a product of their era. Oftentimes they’re edgy for the sake of being edgy, lacking even the semblance of substance. The characters are often poorly fleshed out and completely unbelievable. Everything that happens in the narrative is there only to throw you off the trail of the inevitable, horribly convoluted and nonsensical twist. There are constant red herrings throughout and then when the twist happens, you’re left in shock at the utter stupidity. But for that reason, they can be genuinely entertaining, like a B-movie.

Nosferatu Review: All that said, this Nosferatu issue is easily the best of the clan issues. It tells the tale of a girl abducted by a Nosferatu. While not all of their interactions are believable and the state of mind of the characters can be erratic and hard to pinpoint, the narrative at least stays focused on the main character and her relationship with the Nosferatu character. There’s barely a twist in this one even. The ending is actually competently set up! If you were going to give these comics a try, you should start here. Maybe you should end here as well.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire the Masquerade: Nosferatu
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