Friday, June 6, 2014

Review - Vampirella #1

"This better be good Monsignor. You're interrupting my beauty sleep."

Vampirella needs no introduction. She's a fabled character with a tendency to fight evil on a daily basis. That still doesn't give her much of a rest, which is why Dynamite Entertainment is sending her back into the thick of things in Vampirella #1. The issue is written by Nancy A. Collins, pencilled by Partrick Berkenkotter, inked by Dennis Crisostomo, colored by Jorge Sutil and lettered by Rob Steen.

Vampirella can't seem to catch a break. Her latest mission at the behest of the Vatican sends her to investigate the kidnapping of a little girl by Ethan Shroud and the Chaos cultists. Her plans to save the day get away from her a bit, setting her up to play a part in a much bigger plan. It's another day, another evil that Vampirella has to stand up against to save herself and likely the world.

Vampirella #1 isn't exactly a reboot, but it it's not exactly a continuation either. Vampirella is a character who's known the world over and she's been fighting evil for decades, which Collins uses to her advantage. That legacy affords her the chance to throw Vampirella right into the thick of things without having to introduce her to the reader. In that regard, the book is a great jumping on point for new readers. The thing is, the story feels a little weary, as Vampirella follows a path that she's followed in so many books before. It doesn't really give the book much in the way of deviating from the norm so to speak, providing a safe and familiar Vampirella story for readers.

Berkenkotter's pencils are good, if not a little bland. Facial expressions on characters seem a little forced and distant, not really giving the reader a full glimpse into what the characters are experiencing. Vampirella is a character who has made her fame on her looks and outfit and Berkenkotter doesn't bog the book down with cheesy pin-up shots of her. General character anatomy and physiology looks realistic enough, providing a glimpse into all the dealings of the occult and their intensity. Crisostomo's inks and Sutil's colors are very muted and stay within the red/black/green range, providing the right level of evilness throughout.

Vampirella #1 is a book that readers who want to get into Vampirella will likely enjoy. It's very accessible and presents the character in a way that doesn't get swamped with character backstory, while still managing to show the reader what she's about. Fans familiar with the character might be a little disappointed, as Collins doesn't really do a whole lot new in the way of mixing her or her story up. The art team does a decent job illustrating the story, not really getting too much into details. Vampirella #1 could lead into some interesting new stories down the road, but the first issue feels a little lackluster when it's all said and done.

Vampirella #1 is in stores now with interiors (and a slew of covers) below.


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