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One of the biggest fan-favorite horror comic book series from the '90s is Crimsona supernatural epic filled with vampires, werewolves and other things that go bump in the night years before the Underworld and Twilight franchises. Following Wildstorm's acquisition by DC Comics, the series transitioned directly under Wildstorm for the remainder of its run before the moved to Boom! Now, CBR is taking a look back at the action-horror series, from its supernatural spin on the superhero genre to its lasting legacy 18 years since its end.
Launched inCrimson followed the story of teenager Alex Elder who is violently ambushed by vampires while enjoying a night out on the town with his friends. As he lays dying from the blood-sucking bite, Alex is rescued by Ekimus, a member of the Grigori, an ancient vampiric race predating humanity and the source of all crimson comic games vampires on Earth. Believing Alex to be the prophesied one to permanently end vampirism, Ekimus has Alex feed on his blood to cause him to rise as a new sort of vampire. Under Ekimus' tutelage, Alex learns he has powers exceeding that of normal vampires and prepares to avert a coming demonic apocalypse.
Alex befriends an indigenous Mexican named Joe who helps show him the ropes and finds an ally in Scarlet Thinbault X, the last in the line of the Order of the Red Hood, a family dedicated to eliminating demonic threats. As the series progresses, the scope of the conflict expands from merely involving a war between vampires to a much larger one involving the forces of Heaven and Hell for the fate of Earth and humanity.
This culminates with demonic dragons being unleashed on Earth and nearly wiping out civilization, including Alex's friends Zophie and George. With Lisseth was successfully defeated, Alex sets out to find the Holy Grail and restore his humanity while Scarlet enters a convent. However, the final issue ends with the twist that Joe is relating the entire story of the comic to someone drinking with him in a bar. Incredulous that vampires, angels, and demons are real, the two exit the bar with Joe suffering no ill effects despite the sunlight and passing a homeless man who resembles Van Fleet who had been killed in the final apocalyptic battle.
As the series come to a close, it raises the question whether it was all a drunk story made up by Joe or if it actually occurred at all. Crimson created a spellbinding battle between good and evil that blended superhero action and scope with supernatural horror effectively while dramatically increasing the stakes. The story's emotional core lies with Alex's relationships with his friends and mentors, something that it always keeps in sight even as it ratchets up the apocalyptic intensity.
And in addition to Augustyn's tight scripting, what especially elevates Crimson above its horror comics counterparts is Ramos' haunting art. With kinetic action sequences, atmospheric environments, and truly epic scope, the fan-favorite artist brought his A-game to the title after honing his work illustrating Impulse for DC Comics. Available in two separate deluxe hardcovers through Boom! Studios, now is the perfect time to either revisit Crimson or experience the series for the first time.
Sam Stone is a 10th level pop culture guru living just outside of Crimson comic games, DC who knows an unreasonable amount about The Beatles. You can follow him on Twitter samstoneshow and ask him about Nintendo, pop punk, and Star Trek. By Sam Stone Published Jun 23, Share Share Tweet 0.Crimson comic games
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