The All-Nighter review – a fun take on vampires and superheroes.

ComiXology original The All-Nighter makes its print debut from Dark Horse this month. The All-Nighter is the only diner in town where you can get coffee and a meal from sunset to sunrise! The staff are friendly (kind of) and happy to serve you (sometimes), and it would never cross their minds to drink their customers’ blood… Alex is bored—flipping burgers for strangers all night is no way for a vampire to live. But he and his fellow vampires Joy, Cynthia, and Ian have agreed to blend into human society. Inspired by superhero movies, one of few passions in his un-life, Alex decides to don a cape and start fighting bad guys. But his decision will have bigger consequences than he realizes – for himself and for everyone he wants to protect.

Chip Zdarsky has proven to be one of the most versatile creators working in modern comics both as an artist and a writer. Having proven himself in crime, comedy, noir and superhero comics – he is definitely a hot commodity in today’s product. His work on titles such as Sex Criminals, Jughead, Spider-Man: Life Story and Daredevil are some of the best comics to be released in the past few years. Here, he reunites with his fellow Eisner winner Jason Loo to take the skills he has accumulated to make a refreshing take on both the superhero and horror genres.

Zdarsky clearly has a lot of affection for both genres, but he isn’t afraid to poke fun and deconstruct them. There are many tropes that populate Marvel and DC Comics that are subtly teased and paid tribute to at the same time which give the comic a great sense of fun. There’s also some commentary on current superhero film trends with Alex being a stand-in for a modern-day superhero-fan.

Alex is a terrific protagonist who answers the question of what a teenage vampire would potentially do with his powers (if he wasn’t out drinking blood). In this case, becoming a superhero would be high on the list. It’s definitely not the first time there’s been a good vampire/one with a conscience, but it is exciting to see one who is actively excited about the potential their powers can have in fulfilling childish dreams of being a hero and helping people. His ambition plays off well against his family members who don’t share his enthusiasm and are terrified he’ll blow their cover. They end up helping him though which unfortunately doesn’t abate the consequences of Alex’s actions.

Loo is a perfect fit for this series. His art has the right balance between the moody gothic and bright heroics that further enhances the tone Zdarsky is going for. He also has a ton of versatility with both his action sequences and family sitcom moments flowing nicely into each other whilst standing strongly on their own.

This series is loads of fun and will have a broad appeal to both superhero and horror fans. Zdarsky and Loo have another hit on their hands.

The All-Nighter is out now from Dark Horse (9781506728049, p/b, £16.99)

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