Monday, March 27, 2017

Flagler's Few, Volume 3 - The Vampirate of Matanzas Inlet

Matanzas Inlet is a small channel just south of St. Augustine, Florida.  It is named Matanzas (the Spanish word for "slaughters") due to the massacre that occurred back in the late 1500s when the Spanish came in and murdered over 200 French Huguenots.

It also plays an important setting in Andre R. Frattino's latest Flagler's Few graphic novel, The Vampirate of Matanzas Inlet.

As with Frattino's prior books, this story is fiction mixed with a good dose of non-fictional history.  Told between flashbacks and present day events, the story focuses on Roger and his ancestor, the famed pirate Captain Rogerick Blimes.  Centuries ago, Captain Blimes defeated the evil "Mad Eyes" Gaunt and captured his demon-possessed soul in a skull, which he later hid somewhere around St. Augustine, Florida.  Obviously, that very skull plays a very important part in events occurring in the present.  With the Flagler's Few two members down, Roger feels as if he has been betrayed by all of his friends - until he runs into a friend from his past (quite literally), who reminds him what loyalty is and what fun living a "pirate" life can be.  Raven and the Professor are worried about Roger, but he doesn't see it that way.

Now, you may be asking - what about that "vampirate" referenced in the title to the story? Well, that's another little subplot being told throughout this story. It seems Captain Blimes, in exchange for help in defeating Gaunt, agreed to assist a pregnant woman escape capture - but he was never able to rescue her, as she died giving birth during their escape.  He took the child with him - a child that just so happened to be born cursed as a vampire!  Raised on a pirate's ship (raised as a boy, mind you), Maddie grew up with indebted to Captain Blimes, and ultimately, to his descendants.  Which, of course, brings us to the present, where a young vampire girl (or rather, young in appearance) seems to be protecting Roger at every turn.

Frattino weaves another fun tale with banshees, vampires, possession, and good ol' pirate excitement. It's not only a tale of treasure hunting and high-seas pirating, but it's also a tale of friendship, loyalty, and well - the return of a member of the group thought gone (and his return brings with it some great geek-out references!).  The art, by Frattino, with Effie Rodriguez on inks, isn't quite as refined as the previous two books.  The characters' looks are not always consistent, and some of the panels seem a bit rushed.  However, none of that detracts from the story, and overall, the book was a great read (with a really good payoff at the end).

Don't see any word yet on a fourth graphic novel, so I guess I'll have to wait until I see Frattino at another comic convention and ask him then...

RATING:  8 witchy telepathic things out of 10 for taking the real history and locations of Florida and mixing them up with some great supernatural tales!

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