Writer/Artist: HYBE in collaboration with ENHYPEN
Letterer: Chana Conley
Translator: WEBTOON
Publisher: Ize Press (Print/Digital)
Publication Date: December 12, 2023
Rating: Teen
Genre: Webtoon (S. Korea), Drama, Fantasy, Supernatural, Action

REVIEW RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars (Recommend) 

As the final installment in the trio of graphic novels in collaboration with K-pop groups, Ize Press has released the first volume of HYBE’s DARK MOON: THE BLOOD ALTAR, a supernatural story about vampires and werewolves. The main characters of this volume are inspired by the K-pop group ENHYPEN. Check out their “One in a Billion” music video below to see what’s in store: 

DARK MOON introduces us to Sooha, a young girl with super strength who has always been accused of being a vampire. She is shunned by other kids and villagers, so when a young boy named Chris tries to be her friend, she’s hesitant to trust him. Chris wins her over, and they quickly become friends. But Chris is caught in a house fire, and Sooha is unable to save him. 

The story skips to Sooha as a teen transferring to Decelis Academy. Decelis Academy is known for its meticulous entrance exam so Sooha is happy that there won’t be any vampires on campus. Sooha is warned to stay inside at night because there’s been a murder nearby recently, and rumors say that it was a vampire. Despite the warnings, Sooha is overjoyed about moving into her new room. 

Dark Moon

Sooha meets the seven most popular boys at Decelis Academy (each inspired by members of ENHYPEN). Heli is in 12th grade with black hair and is inspired by Heeseung. Jaan is also in 12th grade with short white hair and is inspired by Jay. Jino is in 11th grade with red hair and is inspired by Jake. Solon is in 10th grade with blue hair and is inspired by Sunghoon. Shion is also in 10th grade and has blonde hair and is inspired by Sunoo. Jakah has his white hair up and is inspired by Jungwon. Noa has purple hair and is inspired by NI-KI. 

Dark Moon

DARK MOON volume one focused on introducing us to Sooha, the vampires, and the werewolves and some of their backgrounds. Although I loved the character design for the werewolves, I wish they would have focused on just the vampire boys’ stories instead of introducing the werewolves in this volume. The vampires are inspired by the seven members of ENHYPEN so they have to introduce seven characters with distinct personalities. Instead of focusing more on them and giving us a better understanding of their background, I felt that they rushed to introduce us to the four werewolves Khan, Enzy, Najak, and Tahel. 

Dark Moon

After meeting Sooha, the seven vampires are drawn to her and start hanging out with her. Solon is a blue-haired vampire and the only one who is cautious about letting Sooha join their friend group. His efforts to maintain their secrets are in vain because Heli, Jino, Jaan, and Shion all share their special abilities with her. From telepathy to walking on walls, they each shared their secrets except Solon, Jakah, and Noa who were at practice. There’s something special about Sooha that makes the boys drawn to her. However, I don’t think it was realistic for the boys to be so careless about their secrets, especially when they just met her and didn’t know that they could trust her. 

It had been a while since I read a vampire story so this was a fun read. If you’ve been missing the 2010s vampire dramas I would check out this volume. It has murder, vampires, and werewolves. For readers who don’t like supernatural stories, this series may not be for you. DARK MOON follows the pattern that a lot of vampire stories do where the female lead is really into a mysterious guy that ends up being a vampire. In Sooha’s case, her seven new friends are all vampires. Werewolves are also introduced so the vampire vs. werewolves animosity starts early on in this series. 

VERDICT: Would recommend. Volume one of DARK MOON focused on the characters and building up what’s to come in the series. I don’t mind when there isn’t a lot of action in the beginning as long as I’m learning about the world the characters are in. If you enjoy something more fast-paced you might want to wait until you can read volumes one and two together. Overall, the art was beautiful, and the cover has silver embossing that goes well with the purple colors in the cover image. 

Will you be adding this to your “to-be-read” list? Give your thoughts in a comment below! If you’re interested in my reviews on 7 Fates: Chakho and The Star Seekers from the HYBE collaborations, check them out in the links above.