Bite Club:
Die Now, Live Forever

by Howard Chaykin, David
Tischman, David Hahn
(Vertigo, 2005)

Vampires not only are real, they've gone public and, in Miami at least, have taken over organized crime.

Bite Club, a too-brief miniseries from DC Comics' Vertigo line, introduces readers to the Del Toro family, an undead crime family whose story falls somewhere between Kindred, The Sopranos and Days of Our Lives. Eduardo Del Toro is the family patriarch, who reigns over his family and its interests with an iron fist. But, since Eduardo is killed on the very first page, you can bet the story isn't about him. Rather, his family -- a mixed pack of ambition, greed and carnal desire -- steps into the gap left by his death in a struggle to take over the business. But, to the surprise of all, son Leto -- a vampire and Catholic priest, believe it or not -- is handed the reins of power. And that doesn't sit well with others of the Del Toro clan, siblings and cousins and family satellites who have a varying array of vices and a similar yen for control.

Collected in digest form, Bite Club: Die Now, Live Forever is an action-packed saga that will keep you guessing. New surprises await with every new revelation, and the series of events that unfolds near the end is shockingly twisted -- and impossible to predict. Writers Howard Chaykin and David Tischman combine forces with artist David Hahn to create a satisfyingly different sort of story, a new slant on modern-day vampires that will have readers thirsting for more. (Fortunately, the first issues of the follow-up miniseries, Bite Club: Vampire Crime Unit, are already on the shelves.)

We can only hope that creators will continue to tap this vein for material and keep Bite Club open for business for years to come.

by Tom Knapp
24 June 2006

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