Advance Review: Black And White And Red All Over In `Little Monsters’ #3

by Tom Smithyman


When a vampires trapped in children’s bodies get their first taste of human blood, all bets are off. Storytellers Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen shine once again as they continue this post-apocalyptic tale of the young undead.


For vampires, you never forget your first time.

In this case, the first time is tasting human blood. After all, an apocalypse has largely wiped out the human population. Only a handful of vampire children seem to remain. And they have survived for hundreds of years by sucking the blood out of rats and other small animals.

But when Billy finds a real live human, he can’t help himself. It seems there is something special about human blood. So when he feasts on the poor soul, he is changed – not unlike hitting puberty. His friends immediately notice as well and are curious enough to try some human blood for themselves. The catch is that this human is someone’s father – and she’s pretty upset that dad was someone else’s supper.

As usual, master storyteller Jeff Lemire spins a compelling yarn. This issue is devoted more to character development than real action as each of the young ones decide whether to feast on the human or remain their more childlike selves. Still, with Lemire’s talent for writing strong, memorable characters, you hardly notice a break in the action.

And, of course, Dustin Nguyen’s artwork – presented largely in black and white with just a touch of crimson red blood every so often – complements Lemire’s words perfectly. Having worked with Lemire on Descender and Ascender, Nguyen’s portrayal of children is equal parts innocent and terrifying. You couldn’t ask for someone better to illustrate this story.

We do learn that the apocalypse begins in 2029 during the “Second Pandemic.” The masks the characters of the time use are a nice – if familiarly uncomfortable – touch. It sets up the ongoing origin story of how the kids became undead in the first place. More importantly, it likely sets up a larger conflict for future issues.

Little Monsters #3 will be available for purchase on May 4, 2022.

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