Review - Vampirella/Dejah Thoris #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"Today, they are gifted with surprise."

Dejah Thoris is a just princess who values science and combat. Vampirella is a just vampire who also values science and combat. The two come together in Vampirella/Dejah Thoris #1 from Dynamite Comics. The issue is written by Erik Burnham, illustrated by Ediano Silva, colored by Dinei Ribeiro and lettered by Troy Peteri.

The encounter that was destined to happen! When an alien scout ship crashes on Mars, Dejah Thoris must risk reigniting war with the Green Martians and becoming dinner for the white apes. But the stakes are raised so much higher when the ship is revealed to carry Vampirella, who is on a desperate mission of survival-one that might end before it truly begins!

The beauty of a character like Vampirella is that she can really crossover with any other character without too much of a suspension of disbelief--something Burnham uses to his advantage here. Still, Burnham unites Dejah Thoris and Vampirella in a way that doesn't seem too outlandish and their first encounter actually serves as a marvelous set-up for the entire series. Burnham doesn't force anything in the issue, allowing Dejah Thoris' rebellious personality and Vampirella's generally good nature carry the narrative. The issue could easily have dived into the history of Barsoom, but Burnham knew that wasn't necessary and explains enough of the planet and culture to give the issue context. The issue is paced very well and Burnham doesn't seem to be in any sort of rush to get anything established or check any proverbial crossover boxes.

Silva takes a very grizzled approach in the artwork that underscores the somewhat harsh conditions of Barsoom that its inhabitants have become accustomed to. Dejah Thoris is drawn with more of a feminine look than other incarnations, but that doesn't prevent Silva from impressing upon the reader that's she extraordinarily fierce when needed. Silva renders Vampirella similarly and the two seem more than appropriate matches for one another, both in terms of intellect and capability in combat. There's a dizzying abundance of insets and overlays throughout the issue that lends a somewhat frenetic take to the book; the book might have been better served were the panels slightly more organized. Ribeiro's colors capture the arid nature of Barsoom well, punctuated by the bolder red of blood when Vampirella arrives. There's also a good variety of covers for the issue that include two cosplayer covers (one of which is Jacqueline Goehner as Vampirella).

Vampirella/Dejah Thoris #1 is a very strong first issue in a highly anticipated crossover. Dejah Thoris and Vampirella are going to be unlikely allies in a possible war neither of them want, but will seem to get nonetheless. Burnham's script actually makes a lot of sense considering the apparent ridiculousness of the premise behind the series (a vampire meets a planetary princess). Silva's illustrations are a great fit for the story and capture the essence of each of the main characters well. Vampirella/Dejah Thoris #1 is a lot a fun and the series will likely be a blast.

Vampirella/Dejah Thoris #1 is available September 26.