Writers: Matt Wagner & Steven Seagle
Artist: Guy Davis
Some of the earliest and best Vertigo work that has never been collected, I'm delighted that DC has finally decided to rectify this oversight with collections of Sandman Mystery Theatre. The series, a lurid adult pulp series full of the atmosphere of '30s New York, addresses a variety of social issues of the time with a framework that includes mystery, violence, detective work and one of the most endearing and believable romances comics has ever produced. Volume three, The Vamp, has a plot twist that could easily come out of a modern-day story, but which filtered through the pulp lens feels fresher and more interesting, and as always, the case at hand helps to indicate elements of the developing relationship between Wesley Dodds (the Sandman) and his girlfriend Dian Belmont. Their relationship is the real core of the series, although amusing supporting characters like the somewhat racist, ball-busting cop Burke are always fun to watch, and the action, sex and plot twists keep the reader interested. Lesbians, sex scenes, exsanguination and plenty of punching and chase scenes... what more could you want?