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Vampire the Masquerade: Giovanni $1.99
Publisher: Moonstone
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2020 05:14:27

Moonstone Clan Comics Review: I decided to purchase all of the old Moonstone VTM comics in anticipation for the upcoming ones from Vault Comics, and wow, these things sure are a product of their era. Oftentimes they’re edgy for the sake of being edgy, lacking even the semblance of substance. The characters are often poorly fleshed out and completely unbelievable. Everything that happens in the narrative is there only to throw you off the trail of the inevitable, horribly convoluted and nonsensical twist. There are constant red herrings throughout and then when the twist happens, you’re left in shock at the utter stupidity. But for that reason, they can be genuinely entertaining, like a B-movie.

Giovanni Review: The plot here focuses on the two characters being conscripted to bid on a painting for Pietro Giovanni and the hijinks that ensue thereof. This comic is only 52 pages long and I stopped reading to take a break multiple times because I was so bored.

The two main characters, Isabel and Madeleine look very similar, being the same skin-tone and both having shoulder-length black hair, so initially there were times I was confused as to who was talking. There are minor differences that I got the hang of after a little bit, as one has wavy hair and the other has straight hair with bangs, and they wear different (albeit black) outfits. But even with those differences, it’s clear that even the creators were confused because there is one point^ where Madeleine calls the other character “Madeleine”.

Who is talking doesn’t really matter, though. Both characters are supposed to be knowledgeable and competent, but because they needed to explain what’s going on to the reader, one will randomly ask the other a fledgling-level question, or one will explain something to the other that you’d think wouldn’t need explaining. Madeleine is younger than Isabel, so you’d think they would reserve the audience stand-in role for her and the mentor role for Isabel, but this role shifts throughout the story. One of the main characters has a soft-spot for orphans, but this element is just there - it serves no purpose, other than to fill pages because the story is paper-thin. The traits given to them just never affect anything in any meaningful way.

It ineptly tries to make a theme about methods of ruling: ruling by being feared versus ruling by being loved. But whatever point was trying to be made doesn’t land because the characters don’t articulate their points well.

And finally, this story focuses exclusively on the mafia-like qualities of the clan and doesn’t even mention Necromancy. Which… I mean… why? Why would you make a Giovanni comic and completely ignore that aspect of the clan? There’s also a reference to a vampire’s bite being a mix of pleasure and pain, and this is said by a Giovanni to a fellow Giovanni. But a Giovanni’s bite is strictly painful. Did they forget the clan weakness?

Like the others in this series, there’s a twist at the end. This one made me sigh, but at least I wasn’t horribly frustrated by it.

^If you buy this, it happens on page 41

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Vampire the Masquerade: Giovanni
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