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Written by 2:29 am Comics

best vampire comics

best vampire comics

best vampire comics

The vampire mythos has captivated audiences for centuries with tales of charismatic immortals, doomed romance, and the thin line between predator and prey. This rich lore has proven to be exceptionally fertile ground for gripping comic books over the years.

From horror to heroics, many of the best vampire stories can be found within the pages of comics.

The Earliest Bloodsucker Books

While not strictly about vampires, the comics of the 1930s and 40s laid crucial groundwork for the future undead tales.

Titles like More Fun Comics introduced formative characters like Doctor Fate and Spectre – supernatural protectors who battled all manner of occult evils. These kinds of heroic figures battling monsters and black magic threats set the stage for vampire hunters to come.

Horror Hits its Stride

The 1950s saw American culture gripped by horror entertainment as chilling comics became all the rage. Gory anthology titles like The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear were filled with shocking short stories about vampires and all manner of creatures.

These lurid publications caused such a moral panic that the Comics Code Authority was created to censor content, reining in the blood and guts. But the bloody toothpaste was already out of the tube, and vampires only grew in popularity.

Morbius and the Marvel Age

While the Code was still restricting horror, lenient editors at Marvel Comics allowed for the 1971 debut of Morbius the Living Vampire. As a tragic figure who never wanted to hurt anyone, Morbius struck a chord with readers. And as the first vampire antihero in comics, he can be seen as a precursor to the iconic vigilantes of Marvel’s Bronze Age like Wolverine and Ghost Rider. Morbius demonstrated that vampires still had serious commercial appeal.Table: Key Vampire Comics of the 1970s

Year Comic Significance
1972 The Tomb of Dracula Long-running series cementing Marvel’s monsters as protagonists
1976 I, Vampire DC series with a heroic vampire battling evil vampires
1979 Marvel Preview #3 First appearance of Blade the vampire hunter

Black and White Horror

By the 1980s, independent comics were on the rise and black-and-white vampire titles thrived thanks to lower publishing costs. Kent Williams’ strikingly rendered Blood: A Tale made quite a critical splash in 1987 for its sensual and terrifying art.

Then in the 90s, Eddie Campbell’s Bacchus and Eric Powell’s Spookhouse showed that vampires could even anchor witty, quirky indie books when given creative twists.

Vampires Invade the Mainstream

In the wake of acclaimed graphic novels like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, the comics scene was increasingly creator-driven with mature, sophisticated stories aimed at adult readers. Vampires were ideal for this expanding market, bleeding into a wide variety of genres.

In the literary realm, the Victorian-set Baltimore comics have offered steampunk vampire action since 2007.On the superhero front, new spins on iconic characters like Supergirl (Supergirl: Being Super) and Batman (Batman: Crimson Mist) pitted them against bloodthirsty villains. And many popular series like The Astounding Wolf-Man, American Vampire, and I Am a Hero used vampire mythology as the basis for exciting original stories.

Thanks to the comics medium’s unique advantages, creators have continued to innovate within the vampire genre right up to current hits like Vampire State Building (comedy), Silver (young adult), and The Nice House on the Lake (horror). As long as readers continue to crave thrilling vampire fiction, the major comic book publishers and independent creators will keep delivering fresh blood.

So for anyone looking to dive into the wide world of comics, stories about the undead are a wonderful place to start. Because when it comes to vampires, graphic novels for every taste are just dying to sink their teeth into you!