Review - Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #1 (@Dynamite)

"In other words, go home. This is dangerous work best left for professionals."

Riverdale is no stranger to hijinx, whether it be simple high school shenanigans to siblings competing to be the anti-Christ to a werewolf and a vampire hunter squaring off against one another. There's plenty of strange things that happen there which makes Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #1 from Dynamite Comics feel perfectly at home. The issue is written by Amy Chu, illustrated by Maria Sanapo, colored by Viniciu Andrade and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

Mystery, murder, and mayhem descends on Riverdale as four of your favorite comic book women meet for the first time. A string of paranormal, unsolved murders leads the vampire hunter Vampirella and her sword-wielding barbarian partner Red Sonja to the small, sleepy town where things always seem to happen... There they discover Betty and Veronica, investigative reporters for the high school newspaper, also hot on the trail of the same killer.

There's a pretty large disparity in character types amongst Red Sonja, Vampirella, Betty and Veronica, but does a wonderful job of bridging those gaps rather seamlessly. Each duo is no stranger to teaming up with one another and the way Chu brings the larger group together actually makes complete sense in the grand scheme of things. Chu's offer up a gradual progression of things, spending most of the issue getting Red Sonja and Vampirella to fit into a world that's very different from the ones they're used to. There are some pretty entertaining in-jokes throughout the issue, although one with Archie himself feels like a missed opportunity where Chu could've had Red Sonja and Vampirella fawn over him as a reference to the eternal struggle that defined Betty and Veronica's friendship for so long. Chu's dialogue is very much in character for all the speakers and she successfully taps into the prevailing Riverdale sentiment in a way that makes Red Sonja and Vampirella feel as if they fit.

Like their personalities the appearance of the characters is very disparate, yet Sanapo does a good job of making them all feel as if they're part of the same world. That's obviously a taller task because Red Sonja and Vampirella are being thrust into the modern era, but Sanapo illustrates them in a way where they look like slightly older high school students at Riverdale. The linework is very bold and accentuated with thick, black lines that give the characters prominence against the backdrops and amidst other characters. There's something though that feels a little off about the artwork, in that some of the facial expressions look a little strange and Sanupo's style feels a little too glossy at points. Andrade's colors do a great job of capturing the trademark looks of the characters; primarily, the hair colors of the four leading ladies are very defining.

Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #1 is a very entertaining mash-up of multiple worlds that don't seem to have anything at all in common with one another. Betty and Veronica are working hard to make Red Sonja and Vampirella feel at home in Riverdale as their investigations dovetail with one another. Chu's narrative is well-paced and amusing, playing up the "fish out of water" scenario very well. Sanapo has a good grasp on the looks of each of the characters, rendering them in ways that breed plenty of familiarity for the reader. Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #1 will appeal to fans of all the characters mentioned in the title and looks to blend the perils of high school with the perils of demon-hunting.

Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #1 is available May 8.