REVIEW: Vampire Hunter D: Message from Mars # 1 (2016)

A comic by Brandon M. Easton and Hideyuki Kikuchi

As a youngster. I recall the exact moment that I fell in love with anime. Granted, I had unwittingly been watching it for years (Voltron, Robotech etc) but didn’t realize those were imported properties. The Science Fiction Channel (before it became SyFy) had a block on Saturday mornings/afternoons where it played things like Fatal Fury, Goku: The Midnight Eye, Iria, and even this strange vampire film I fell in love with called Vampire Hunter D. I was immediately a fan of the film – crazy monsters, cool fight scenes, strange things like talking hands, and enough blood that I was sure I was breaking some kind of unwritten rule by even watching it at my age. Due to my love for it, any time that I see something come out in the franchise I get excited, so imagine me five years ago when this came across my Kickstarter recommendations.

VHD Message from Mars

“Message from Mars is told from the point of view of Cecile, one of the human colonists on Mars. We see the ascension of the Nobility in the aftermath of a nuclear war on earth and a part of the beginning of D’s journey as a vampire hunter. We’re excited to see this story brought to life in the first ever Vampire Hunter D comic book series.”

From the original Kickstarter Page

Message from Mars is adapted from a short story that Hideyuki Kikuchi (the original author) penned many years ago. many people don’t realize it, but Vampire Hunter D has been running as a series of novels for upwards of 40 years now, there is so much content that could be adapted I am amazed that there are literally only two films out there. I know that this comic was supposed to be part of a push that was ultimately designed to get a 3D animated TV series made, but as of 2021 this has not happened as of yet. Sadly, this being part 1 of a 5 part series seems to also be dead in the proverbial water as this is the only issue to be produced so far. Nobody on the Kickstarter page seems to know the status of the project, so I will assume there is no more unless I hear otherwise.

VHD Message from Mars 2

The main character of this story is a woman named Cecile who is desperately trying to get help from everyone’s favorite dhampir vampire hunter, D (step back Blade!) A huge war has started on Earth, and it has caused travel between Earth, The Moon, and Mars to halt completely. Despite this, Cecile’s lover leaves Mars to find his family, worrying Cecile. Upon arriving, after seemingly seeing this letter, D is encountered by a tall Noble and a battle ensues. D goes in swords a blazing, and fights off hordes of ruthless nobles only to discover that this once bustling colony is now basically a blood farm. That’s basically the end of issue one, so here’s hoping anything else gets produced! Honestly I may have to read the actual short story to see how the story goes along.

I loved this comic, and I hope it isn’t done after one issue. I know they made a ton of money on Kickstarter, so I’m hoping it wasn’t all hinging on the possible TV show, or Japan messed it up or something. Time will tell I suppose. If any news comes out, I will be sure to do an update! Until then, make sure your talking possessed hand is well-fed and have a good night everyone – it’s scary out there.

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