Monday, June 25, 2018

Review - Vampirella: Roses for the Dead #1 (@dynamitecomics)


"A moonless night...under a starry sky..."

Vampirella is a character who can either be a strong ally or a fearsome foe depending on your actions. She's has a moral compass that doesn't let her thirst for blood completely overwhelm her, but that compass might be turned off in Vampirella: Roses for the Dead #1 from Dynamite. The issue is written by Kristina Deak-Linsner, illustrated by Joseph Michael Linsner, colored by Ceci de la Cruz and lettered by Jeff Eckleberry.

Vampirella hunts down a sexual predator in order to feed her insatiable thirst for blood. While tracking him down to a Philadelphia nightclub, Evily the Witch bars her path. They clash and the plan is thwarted. Do they both decide to team up against him, or remain at odds? Whatever the means, Vampi vows to get revenge!

Among the many ways that Vampirella: Roses for the Dead #1 excels is in how Deak-Linsner contemporizes the character. Deak-Linsner re-introduces readers to Vampirella through her latest hunt of a sexual predator and--in doing so--reconciles Vampirella's fierce nature with a cause she'd surely embrace. Her pursuit of that character affords her to cross paths with Evily the Witch, a character who doesn't show up often in Vampirella tales, but one who Deak-Linsner ensures does the most with her appearance here. The two characters are opposite one another in many regards, but Deak-Linsner unites them in their search for a bad man and their take on his actions are extremely relevant in today's times. And while the issue itself is a slow-burn, it's evident by the end that Deak-Linsner is going to put the two main characters through their paces in their quest for justice.

Linsner's artwork is a respectful nod towards Vampirella's storied history. The character is rendered in a way that emphasizes her iconic look and physique, effectively blending together her feminine appearance with her vampiric tendencies and abilities. Linsner crams every page with a multitude of panels that do a lot; from looking at the various perspectives in a bar to a detailed encounter where Vampirella squares off against a foe. Each page is also self-contained in a way in that Linsner seems to eschew two-page spreads for more focused, single-page takes on the action. The colors by de la Cruz are sound throughout, especially in the case of Vampirella's blood-red costume.

Vampirella: Roses for the Dead #1 is a great Vampirella book in that it offers both an homage and a welcome to the character. Vampirella and Evily seem to be on the same path in their quest to take down a bad man. Deak-Linsner's script is evenly paced and offers plenty of Vampirella fans to enjoy. Linsner's illustrations are a great fit for the tone of the story. Vampirella: Roses for the Dead #1 is a good read if you're looking to get back into the character or want to learn what all the fuss is about.

Vampirella: Roses for the Dead #1 is available June 27.

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