Review - Dawn/Vampirella #1

"I've been to hell, and this ain't it. Believe it or not, hell smells better."

If you've got a character who's lasted 25 years, then you're doing something right. If you pair that character with someone who's lasted 45 years, then you're really doing something right. If you offer a recounting of their team=up in a new comic series, then people will likely be very happy. Dynamite Entertainment really likes happy people and Dawn/Vampirella #1 celebrates two characters with an abundance of longevity. The issue is written and illustrated by Joseph Michael Linsner, colored by Valentina Pinto and lettered by Jeff Eckleberry.

Dawn and Vampirella find themselves abducted by Masodik, a demon who wants to see his own personal show, a duel between femme fatales. Masodik wants a mate and no mortal woman will do. Like all demons, he aims high and has grand ideas about himself; only a Goddess or the Queen of the Vampires will do. Dawn suggests a storytelling contest as a more civilized challenge.

Linsner has been writing Dawn for 25 years and it really shows in Dawn/Vampirella #1. Dawn is extremely calm under pressure and able to handle her own and Vampirella is presented as something more of a hothead. Neither characterization is far off, but the story feels sort of like Vampirella is visiting Dawn's world as opposed to the book being a crossover. That's not a knock against Linsner's story; it's actually pretty entertaining and seems to be a great way to bring the two characters together for the crossover. Pivoting the story from violence to storytelling makes it very unique, as it gives Linsner a chance to delve into the histories of both characters as they draw from their experiences.

Both Vampirella and Dawn have well-established looks to them and Linsner does an excellent job rendering those characteristics. His panel layouts feel pretty dynamic alongside the story as it plays out, staggering a wide variety of insets amidst full-page illustrations. The style affords the reader an acquaintance with demons without sending the characters to hell, which keeps things fresh. Masodik showcases the most demonic traits in the entire book and Linsner depicts him with a sly smile and devilish appearance.

Dawn/Vampirella #1 is worthy homage to two characters who have their own individual histories. Blending those characters together is done in a way that feels natural and offers up both of their talents in traversing the demonic obstacles thrown their way. Linsner is very familiar with Dawn and uses that to the advantage of the book, while he does a solid job characterizing Vampirella as well. His art style is very befitting of the title, presenting a nostalgia to characters who are well-established. Dawn/Vampirella #1 is a very intriguing first issue that fans of both series will definitely want to check out, as Dawn and Vampirella are arguably the only two who can truly match one another.

Dawn/Vampirella #1 is in stores now with interiors below.