Interceptor (#1 – 5) – Donny Cates

4 out of 5

Oookay, fine.  I may view Donny Cates as a bit of an idea man (i.e. good story hooks, no content), and also as writing on the cusp of “trying to be cool,” but Interceptor manages to strike a good tone that doesn’t offend these criticisms too greatly, leading to a pretty fun read.

I might credit Heavy Metal as a publisher for that, as the mag’s indulgences may have encouraged Cates to not try and work much meaning into his tale (a la Buzzkill) and just go for loud and dumb, which he mostly does.

In the world of the comic, humans now lIve on a planet called Paulus, having been chased off of Earth by vampires years back.  Current events encourage the president (who looks like a child, and who swears and smokes a cigar, because Cates finds this amusing) to send an investigate party back to our previous home to see if all is well.  But in case it’s not, she (Poli) is kitted with a massive vamp-busting suit called The Interceptor.  Of course: It’s not. You can just see the pulp steaming off of this, yeah?

A human rebellion, double crosses, heads chopped off, naked vampire orgies and more happen.  As italicized above, a lot of what’s here seems to exist for a looks cool / sounds cool reason, but again, because the book is just sort of coasting on the vibe of its concept and not digging in too deep to world-building or logic, it works.  In fact, the title really only shifts to indefensible dumb when trying to make those extra efforts, whether through justifying its own story, or exploring Poli’s background, or trying to form a bond between characters that can’t be earned.  But things get back on track soon enough.  And thanks to Dylan Burnett’s energetic art (similar to Cates’ compatriot on Paybacks, Geoff Shaw, but with a more formal paneling sense that works well here), the violent indulgences  maintain a cartoonish edge, which is best for the on-the-move tone.

Interceptor isn’t particularly mind-blowing, but it functions like a quality B-Movie – taking a fanboyish idea and blowing it up to widescreen – and is executed with a well-maintained sense of fun and energy.