* * C
CVO is the story of a secret branch of the CIA who are vampires and do the dirty work of the US government. It is reminiscent of BPRD (Hellboy) but not nearly as good. The CVO team is introduced in action against a tin-pot South American dictator who has managed to acquire several suitcase nukes and a magical teleportation device. “There are only two things that scare me, and one of them is nuclear war”.
The action is reasonably good in the introductory story. None of the characters are particularly well developed, the most effort being expended on Britt, the trio’s femme fatale. At the end of the first story, an interesting fact is revealed about the team’s leader, ironically named Cross, but nothing is done with it in this volume.
The second story, dealing with and ancient magical artifact, is of lower quality than the introductory story. Interestingly, the Russians are considered “allies” in the story. It also introduces the concept of an artillica smith, a craftsman capable of understanding and creating magical artifacts, and adds the first zombie character to the team.
I found little to recommend CVO. Its primary author, Alex Garner has imbued it with none of the humor of Hellboy, and the characters, though they showed potential, are uninteresting. The art is solid, but the pacing is a little frenetic an disjointed in places. There are some additional books in the series, including a tie in with the Transformers universe, but I likely won’t be buying, reading, or reviewing them.