Friday, May 29, 2015

Review - Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1


"This is my life. Killing these things."

If a vampire hunter encounters a necromancer who wins? Is the fight even-matched? Does one trump the other? Will banter be exchanged? Those questions and more are answered one way in Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1, published by Action Lab Danger Zone. The issue is written and colored by Jason Martin (co-written by Dan Mendoza), illustrated by Winston Young and lettered by Adam Wollet.

In a story too big to contain in the pages of her regular monthly series, fan-favorite undead anti-heroine Zombie Tramp breaks out into an all-new limited series that pits her against a new larger-than-life supernatural foe… Vampblade! Can Zombie Tramp hold her own against this new interdimensional weapon-wielding comic book bad girl brought to life, or has she met her sexy/crazy/cool match? Let the hair pulling and blood spilling begin!

Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1 isn't exactly shy about what it is and that's a set-up issue that pokes fun at crossovers. Martin and Mendoza's first issue introduces readers to Vampblade and Zombie Tramp to an extent, despite the latter have more recognition due to her series with the publisher. In fact, the better part of the issue is spent revealing to the reader Vampblade's purpose in life and her desire to hunt down vampires, which puts her at odds with Zombie Tramp, who thrives on reanimating corpses. Much of the first issue is spent on giving the character a reason to dislike each other and it's even used as a gag by Martin and Mendoza to inject more humor into the first issue. Most of the dialogue is done in the form of narration by Vampblade, with the real banter between the two characters not really starting until they face off against one another.

Young's illustrations achieve the portrayal of two characters who clearly thrive on their personal appearance as a means of allure. Both characters are illustrated with a focus on making them as vivacious as possible, which again seems to be playing into the trope of comic book heroines being illustrated as oversexed. This is particularly true as Young focuses on certain areas of their anatomies for really no reason other than to be racy. The simple, grid layout for the panels feels like a good fit for the work though, as the action is pretty easy to follow along with. Martin's colors are primarily blues and reds, used to great effect in casting a nocturnal pall over the encounter between the two characters.

Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1 is pretty straightforward in wanting to be a crossover that introduces a new character to readers. The interaction between Zombie Tramp and Vampblade is pivotal to the entire series and gives both characters their chance at establishing dominance over the other. Martin's story is simple enough and doesn't waste time building up to their confrontation; instead, barrels through introducing Vampblade so her standoff with Zombie Tramp makes a little more sense. Young's illustrations maintain a consistent look throughout, even if there are a few panels that feel a little more gratuitous than anything else. Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1 manages to take a few jabs at the industry and crossovers in general, while at the same time possibly expanding the Danger Zone universe.

Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1 is in stores now.

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