Wednesday, January 8, 2014
"Hush dear. There's a commotion at the main entrance."
Throwing familiar characters into a new setting is always interesting. Throwing a publisher's biggest characters into a new setting as a crossover offers even more intrigue. Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure #1 from Dynamite Entertainment is just that. The issue is written by Bill Willingham, with art by Sergio Davila, colored by Wes Hartman and lettered by Rob Steen.
The Big City is protected by Vampirella and the Green Hornet. A scarlet clad woman of mystery rushes into a bar, pursued by a team of assassins. The terror that breaks loose there and then will eventually lead (in the issues that follow) to The Phantom's Jungle, Flash Gordon's space age town of Landing, battles in the sky with Captain Victory, and so much more, until finally, we arrive in the Monstrous Lands, protected by... well, nobody.
Vampirella is a club owner, enjoying the night scene and ready to handle any extracurricular business if necessary, something that Willingham really does a great job with in the first issue. It's a seven-issue mini-series and Willingham offers a very deliberate pace in the first issue, mainly framing Vampirella as a protector of the city. Green Hornet makes an appearance towards the end, mainly to let the reader know that he hasn't been forgotten about. Willingham's dialogue is sufficiently Victorian, fully bringing the reader into the steampunk world created for the title and pitches Vampirella in a new light. Eventually, Phantom, Flash Gordon, Red Sonja and Kato will all be making entrances into the series, but as of now, readers will have to make do with just Vampirella and Green Hornet.
Davila's art is very impressive and does a great job with character designs. It's refreshing to see Vampirella in a new costume, eschewing her traditional, skimpy outfit for something more Victorian. All the characters successfully inhabit the world they're populating and the action is drawn with great effect. There's a particular panel that highlights Vampirella's savagery and Davila really gets the job done in showing that without it being overtly gory. There are some other great scenes of the club for instance that really impress upon the reader the setting. Sadly, since the bulk of the story takes place in the club, there's little room for exploring the city, but there's time for this down the road.
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure #1 is another publisher's team-up book that brings together all their marquis characters. Willingham does a great job bringing two of the big guns together, with Vampirella's personality on full display. Davila's art is strong and offers a great steampunk spin on familiar characters. While the first issue is somewhat slow-moving, it does leave plenty of time for the story to develop even more. Whether or not they actually work well together in a steampunk setting remains to be seen, but the first issue does offer enough promise that may draw readers in and keep them for the duration of the series.
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure #1 is in stores now with interiors below.