El Santo vs. The Vampire Women: Abandon: First Vampire

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We begin our story with Laila McCarthy and her trusty pal Kimmy on the run from a crack squadron of the world’s most metrosexual vampires. When they finally corner the two girls, it turns out that they have a fairly reasonable request for Professor Laila: translate two tablets of hieroglyphics, or the girl gets it. Laila, instead, goes for Option C. Short of telling the guys that the tablets belong in a museum and not being a big fan of fellas with frosted tips, she hacks her attackers down with a big ol’ samurai sword. Hey, what’s the use of carrying a sword around if you’re never gonna use it?

The battle won, Laila turns her attention to the tablets. The writing turns out to be a love story between two ancient Sumerian demons. Their forbidden love, we later find out, is predicted to bring about the end of time. After some gratuitous girl-on-girl action (which is, tastefully, left mostly to the imagination), Laila becomes pensive.

For, you see, she may be mild mannered professor Laila McCarthy to her friends and colleagues, but in real life she is none other … *gasp* … Lamashtu, the first vampire!

Abandon: First Vampire is written Greg Carter and illustrated by Elliot Dombo. If the first name sounds familiar, it’s because Greg is a frequent visitor on this site. Not only has Greg been very illuminating on the subject of creating vampire fiction, he was also very gracious to include a link to this blog on his site’s Links page. While I’m tempted to go easy, there’s a reason this feature is called “El Santo Vs. The Vampire Women” and not “El Santo Takes The Vampire Women Out to the Chocolatiers for Fun Times.”

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Abandon is set in a world where vampires are pretty much out and about in the public eye. Laila has a position at the Bureau of Evil Elimination in Atlanta. There’s another vampire who is a highly influential political figure in Mexico. However, there is still a lingering friction between blood suckers and humans, which stems from the very contentious issue that vampires tend to murder humans. For example, Joan Winters, Assistant Director for BEE (oh, man, is that really the acronym?), can’t get over that her parents were killed by vampires. Or, as she says with a menacing scowl

When we were kids. While we watched. So cool down! Suck face is not a metaphor to them!

At BEE, Laila meets Special Agent William Winters, the brother of the director. The two have an immediate sexual connection. This leads me to suspect that, while not explicitly stated, he’s none other than the reincarnation of Lamashtu’s lover, Pazuzu.

OK, so about that name… Nathan Rabin, in a review of Exorcist II, once said, “‘Pazuzu’ still sounds like a zany sound effect a slide whistle might make or a baggy-pants vaudevillian’s catchphrase.” After doing a quick online search, not only does Pazuzu have a name so goofy that he was, no doubt, merciless picked on by cool Babylonian dieties like Marduk and Tiamat, but he also looks like he was the inspiration for The Monarch on The Venture Brothers. Not exactly the world’s most threatening demon by a longshot. If he is William Winters, he’s apparently trying to hide his identity under the Whitest name possible.

After some really awkward flirting, the two get accosted by vampire Billy Shears, vampire Jimmy Carl Black, and a couple of hirsute were-gorilla pals who wear athletic bras and apparently nothing else. Laila and William hold their own for a while with a bit of crafty sword play, but they’re eventually taken down by the very embarrassing tactic of getting their heads walloped together. Geez, I’m starting to understand why the Babylonians eventually forgot about these guys. Unconscious the two are hauled off to a Mayan temple that seems to have melted somewhat.

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Here, we’re introduced to Abandon‘s baddies. One is a teenage girl in a corset who turns out to be William’s other sister and bear the unlikely name of “Autumn Winters.” The original soul seems to have been permanently replaced by a demon, leaving a malevolent force to occupy the body of William’s sister. The demon is apparently a big anime fan, by the way, since she does that thing where she pulls down her lower eyelid with her index finger and sticks out her tongue.

However, she’s only an associate of the real guy running this operation, some Lo Pan looking motherf***er named Cieba. He’s apparently quite determined to have his revenge on both Laila and humanity, though he looks quite blasé about it, looking more like he’s impatient that his pizza is 5 minutes overdue. Anyway, his plan goes something like this: 1.) kidnap Laila and tie her up, hoping she won’t escape at some point, and 2.) kill all humanity. You see, that’s the sign of true leadership. Direct and to the point. Leave the details for the underlings. He actually comes off as a pretty pleasant guy, by the way, if it weren’t for his tendency to beat the ladies.

The whole experience seems to be rather pleasant for Laila and William, by the way. It provides them with multiple make-out opportunities, because, damn, the world can’t end soon enough, right? The guys guarding the Mayan temple are, without a doubt, the world’s biggest chumps. And despite not looking like much, Laila is the kind of character that, when she’s not on the screen, everyone’s talking about how badass she is. Basically a female Stephen Seagal. Take this testimonial from Mexican Lo Pan, for example:

Cieba: She is a warrior. More! She is WAR. From the Ottoman Empire, through Europe, and to the New World … she showed them nothing but death. And who knows for how long before that?

Anime girl: She is a warrior?

Cieba: [closing his eyes in a transcendant state of reverence] Better! She tricked them into killing each other! Human, vampire, it didn’t matter. She even had the Church on her side! The atrocities committed in the name of their God… breathtaking!

Anime girl: Well, if this works, maybe she won’t kick your ass this time.

Wow! So I guess all that getting bonked on the head and getting tied up in a Mayan temple was just a cunning deception, eh? You cunning fox, Laila.

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Meanwhile, Kimmy and Joan are on a rescue mission. I didn’t comment much on this because nothing much does happen. Kimmy shows that she’s no one-woman woman. And her men, supposedly hardened military types, just grin like high schoolers at the promise of lesbian sex. The fact that the whole helicopter sequence threatens to turn into an episode of Melrose Place doesn’t help matters much either. But then again, these are the sort of people who say things like “Damn skippy!” in regular conversation.

Notable contributions to the vampire woman genre:

Before Abandon, i don’t think I’ve run into any literature that pegged Sumerian demon Lamashtu as a vampire. Wikipedia says that “She would gnaw on [children’s] bones and suck their blood,” so I guess it works out. Kudos to Greg Carter for making it work out. That said, this makes Laila a creepy child molester.

Memorable quotes:

Laila, producing sexy pillow talk eyes: “Dates would be good. And then more dates.”

Important Life Lessons:

No matter what time of day, no matter what the occasion, you can never go wrong with screaming, “Pazuzu!” to the skies. Preferably while shaking your fist.

El Santo’s predictions for where this story will go in the span of a year:

While the hieroglyphics did say that the Lamashtu/Pazuzu hook-up would pretty much signal the end of the world, it turs out they’re more or less a symptom and not the cause (which is pretty much Cieba’s hare-brained plans). In the meantime, Mexican Lo Pan confesses his love for Kimmy, Autumn tells Joan that she’s been in love with her all this time, and it gets pretty crazy and sexy in Mexico City.

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on October 18, 2009, in action webcomic, adventure webcomic, El Santo vs the Vampire Women, gothic, horror webcomic, manga style webcomic, romance webcomic, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I still don’t know how you manage to survive reading this stuff…

  2. I feel like this one’s a warm-up for the artist. The overall form is aesthetically appealing in at least some sense, though there just isn’t enough interesting expressions, background style and detail, and overall attention to a coherent structure to make this something visually captivating. The facial expressions in the last set of panels you post here show some of the decent facial features the artist is able to render with the female… but that male character looks excessively bland. In the first set of panels you show the action is incomprehensible, but barely so as a bit more strength with detail planning out a scene and describing it would have made it a lot more interesting to watch.

    I feel like this artist needs to be criticized in such a way that he or she feels motivated to do better because I see potential in this one (the last three vampire comics, not so much).

    Then again, you critique stories for the most part.

  3. No matter what time of day, no matter what the occasion, you can never go wrong with screaming, “Pazuzu!” to the skies. Preferably while shaking your fist.

    It’s funny you say this, because the thing that immediately pops into my mind whenever I hear the name “Pazuzu” is that episode of Futurama where Professor Farnsworth loses his gargoyle and goes around yelling “Pazuzu!” at the top of his lungs.

    Incidentally, a Mayan king talking about other people committing horrible atrocities for religion is kind of the pot calling the kettle black, yeah?

    Also, Mr. Dombo really, really needs a lot more reference material if he’s going to draw an Aztec temple.

  4. This wasn’t going easy? It’s more like a snarky recap than a harsh review. Which is probably why I’ve enjoyed this whole series.

    There are volumes I want to say about why I did what I did, but I’m not posting a big screed in rebuttal out of the blue. I’m always happy to discuss this kind of stuff when asked.

    Thank you for taking the time to read it through and posting your impressions here. Some people love it. Some people absofrikkinlutely hate it. But I’m fairly satisfied with how it’s playing out.

  5. This is hte main erason I read webcomicoverlook.com. Awesome posts.

  1. Pingback: Strip News 10-23-9 | Strip News | ArtPatient | ArtPatient

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