If I had to try and narrow down what I liked the most about “Captain Britain and MI13,” I think it would probably be that the book is clever. Not just in basic ideas for the series, but the actual execution of them; reading this latest issue in the “Vampire State” storyline, I found myself continually impressed with the plot turns and developments that Paul Cornell continually has up his sleeve.
After the last issue’s cliffhanger, Cornell brings in a logical way out of the nasty corner he’d backed his characters into — it’s one of the things I’ve always liked about “Captain Britain and MI13.” I never feel like Cornell has cheated to move his story forward, instead thinking things through and always making me feel like we’ve had a good and fair sequence of events. And from there, the “Vampire State” storyline continues to get more dramatic and exciting. Vampires on the moon preparing to invade Earth seems like a truly ludicrous concept at a glance, but I have to give Cornell credit that he’s made it gripping and exciting every month. And, for a book with a slowly growing cast, Cornell always makes sure that each character has their own little moment to shine and appear. Even better, there’s always the real threat that things could go wrong in “Captain Britain and MI13.” Even if there wasn’t the end of the series in just one more month, I think it would be a safe bet to say that no one in this comic is necessarily safe.
Leonard Kirk is assisted with Adrian Syaf on pencils, and while I’m not familiar with Syaf’s work before, I now know that he can certainly mimic Kirk’s style, if not in fact draw similarly to it in the first place. Kirk and Syaf do a nice, solid job here. The splash page with Dracula and the sword has a nice amount of heft to it, but even the smaller moments carry a punch. Dracula grabbing Spitfire by the face (with fingers above and below her eye) is a creepy moment, thanks not only to the strength in Dracula’s arms and hands but the expression on Spitfire’s face. For that matter, the scene with the Black Knight and Faiza looks especially nice; I love how they draw Faiza’s slightly embarrassed look, not only on her face but in the way she carries herself. It adds an extra little touch to the moment, and that’s exactly what a good artist should do.
“Captain Britain and MI13” is that rare series which has continued to improve with each issue. It makes me sad, though, that the same hasn’t been true for sales. I know you might be thinking, “It’s almost over, who cares?” Trust me, this is a great series. Pick up the collections, and you’ll be kicking yourself for having not read it earlier. At least this way, though, you’ll get the enjoyment better late than never.