Friday, February 6, 2015

Review - Legenderry Vampirella #1


"Any chess player will tell you: the game is won by the rooks."

Vampirella's life is chock full of fast days and faster nights. That's the life one leads as a vampire, relying on centuries of mystique to bolster a reputation as fierce and not to be trifled with. Vampirella certainly merits as little interaction with as possible, unless of course you're on her good side. In Legenderry Vampirella #1 from Dynamite Entertainment, those who oppose her don't really enjoy the meeting. The issue is written by David Avallone, illustrated by David T. Cabrera, colored by Robby Bevard and lettered by Dave Lanphear.

Vampirella comes home from the epic battle in The Principality to find that her Scarlet Club has been closed and powerful forces within The Big City are conspiring to destroy her. Those forces quickly learn they’ve pissed off the wrong immortal vampire. Vampirella takes it upon herself to do a little detective work to get to the bottom of the changes she's stumbled upon.

Vampirella's reputation needs no introduction, yet there are some instances such as Legenderry Vampirella #1 where it gets a slight tweaking. Avallone puts her in the same steampunk setting as Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure, only here it feels as if there is decidedly less steampunk. Vampirella maintains all the characteristics that made her famous, including a feral ferocity that accompanies her into battle. Much of the issue features Vampirella putting that anger to good use as she works to uncover what happened to her club among other things, yet little more is revealed to the reader as to the grander plans. There's a mysterious group conspiring against Vampirella, but their motivations aren't completely clear as of yet.

Legenderry Vampirella #1 looks more steampunk than the story would have you believe. There are steampunk elements to the environment and characters, primarily in the look of the character costumes and some of the buildings and vehicles. Cabrera presents characters who evince both fear and terror depending on the side of the battle. Many of the characters who suffer at the hands of Vampirella do so quite violently and Cabrera isn't shy about it, depicting some of the gore to pretty startling effect. Panels designs switch between standard and pages full of insets that keep pace with the action when appropriate, primarily in the more frenetic scenes where Vampirella is fighting.

Legenderry Vampirella #1 takes a familiar character to a familiar place, continuing a story and direction for the character. There's an appropriate level of intrigue throughout as Vampirella investigates things in the way she knows how: ask questions reinforced by potential death to get answers. Avallone's plot has up and down tempos throughout, keeping pace with Vampirella as she uncovers more and more about the changes in the city. Cabrera's illustrations are elegant and effectively capture the fighting and general action sequences best. Legenderry Vampirella #1 is a book that fans of the character will definitely want to check out.

Legenderry Vampirella #1 is in stores now.

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