Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Market Spotlight: House of Mystery # 290!

House of Mystery # 290

Once upon a time House of Mystery ran a vampiric soap opera for 24 issues starring one Lord Andrew Bennett.  It was called "I, Vampire."

Some chicks can't handle their vampirism
If that sounds vaguely familiar, that's probably because I, Vampire is one of the 52 new launches from DC in September, one you weren't thinking of getting.  That might be a mistake.

For starters, the hook isn't bad, as these things go.  Bennett becomes a vampire, and decides to bring his lover Mary Seward into the undead fold.  No point in eternal life if you're just going to watch everyone you love die on you, right?  The hitch is that much like Jagermeister, vampire blood is not a liquid just anyone can handle properly.  Sometimes it turns you evil.

So poor Andrew is stuck, because as much as he hates what Mary has become, he's responsible and he still loves her.  Much like herpes, vampirism just goes on forever with no goddamn cure.  So if we've learned anything, we now know that Vampires are just Jagermeister soaked herpes.

So there's your story, and it will be scripted by Josh Fialkov, who's really quite good.  After reading Echoes, I can certainly see why DC would tap Fialkov for a dark project with some emotional punch.  He's got that shit down cold, and I'm reasonably excited about the series.  I think if DC has the good sense to keep these stories out of their inevitable Duskiest Mid-Morning crossover, we should be just fine.  But sometimes the brass can't help themselves but to meddle in a writer's kitchen with that crap.  Ask Grant Morrison and Batman, Inc. about that.

Long story longer, I see this as an underrated series with a potential cult following, and interest in I, Vampire should result in a spike on the first appearance of Bennett in HOM # 290.  Maybe.  As always, the market, she is a fickle temptress.  Wagner's critically acclaimed run on Madame Xanadu didn't really set Ms. Xanadu's house on fire, so these things don't always pan out.

Overstreet rates a 9.2 copy of this issue at $24.  I just purchased one in VF condition for $6, so the Overstreet mark is probably high as compared to the actual current market, and probably quite low if Fialkov can put I, Vampire on the map again.  I think anything in decent shape for $10 or less is an interesting play.

- Ryan

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