Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review - Vampirella Halloween Special 2013

"...girls just wanna have fun."

If anyone deserves a Halloween special, it's Vampirella. The storied character has seen her fair share of just about everything supernatural, all of which would likely be amplified on Halloween. Dynamite is happy to oblige in that regard, offering readers a brand new one-shot called Vampirella Halloween Special 2013. The special is written by Shannon Eric Denton, illustrated by Dietrich Smith, colored by Wes Hartman and lettered by Marshall Dillon.

Vampirella makes a name for herself in hunting down evildoers. Dracula makes a name for himself generally by being an evildoer. Eva makes a name for herself as the daughter of Dracula and fun-loving adventurer. Throw the three of them together and you've got yourself one crazy costume party, even if they are all destined to stop a certain coven of witches from reviving an ancient demon. And nobody likes a Wendigo at a Halloween party, especially one with a penchant for abducting Dracula's concubines and ripping off heads. All in good fun.

Denton's story itself is pretty sound. Vampirella, Dracula and Eva are all heavy-hitters and one of them is tasked with being the one to fulfill a prophecy having to do with the end of the world. That there are all in the wrong place together really provides and interesting set-up for future Vampirella storylines,as presumably this special will feed into those. The biggest problem is the dialogue. On two separate occasions, Dracula makes the same verbal threat that he could kill the others if he wanted to. The first exclamation felt a little cheesy, but acceptable; that it's offered a second time a few pages later in the exact same dialogue feels a little weak. There are other instances of forced lines as well that get the point across, but feel very heavy-handed in making sure the reader knows what exactly is going on.

Smith's art is decent, relying on the sheen that makes the work feel a little bit brighter than it probably should. Considering this is a book that involves many individuals and events on the darker side of things, Hartman's tones could stand to be a little darker as well. There's not much in the way of creativity when it comes to character poses as well, considering that within the first three pages of the book the reader sees three different characters in more or less the exact same walking pose, just with a different camera angle slant. The animal aspects of the book are illustrated very well though, ensuring that the reader understands the ferocity of the trio's opponents.

Teaming Vampirella with Dracula and Eva for a Halloween special makes a lot of sense, but the special is not without its flaws. The dialogue feels a little weak at times and there are some typos with one of the characters that--at first--seemed to be his speaking style, yet later feel more like typos than anything. The art has ups and downs as well, with some panels illustrated very well and others not so much. If you're into the Vampirella universe you'll likely pick this up and might have to, considering it looks to play a part in future storylines with the character. If you've never really gotten into Vampirella though, there's likely not much here that will interest you.

Vampirella Halloween Special 2013 is in stores now with interiors below.


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