Review - Vampirella #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"Everything--and I mean everything--has a rational explanation. Even you..."

In July 1969 the US landed on the moon. It just so happens that same month Vampirella was introduced to readers. In Vampirella #1 from Dynamite Comics, the raven-haired vampire celebrates fifty years of gracing the pages of magazines and comic books. The issue is written by Christopher Priest, illustrated by Ergün Gündüz and lettered by Willie Schubert.

In July 1969, the world was first introduced to Vampirella. Fifty years later, she doesn't look a day older! Now, to celebrate her gold anniversary, readers will experience the first, mysterious taste of things to come in the next fifty years!

Priest is embracing the notion that Vampirella has found a home on Earth and is depicting her more modern adventures on the planet in this issue. It's somewhat refreshing actually, in that readers get to see Vampirella in the now as opposed to her being inserted into another era or planet. Priest's script is something of a yo-yo back and forth between Vampirella describing a recent plane crash to Vampirella being on said plan. It's a pretty interesting storytelling method that works really well for informing the reader of what's happening and what's to come while at the same time keeping the issue's pacing enjoyable unpredictable. Some of the dialogue feels a little too relaxed though--primarily the psychologist Vampirella is speaking to speaks very colloquially and not in a way that's expected of someone in his profession (although the candor might be what's called for in Vampirella's case).

Gündüz has a silky-smoothness in his approach to the illustrations in that the artwork feels very clean. Thin, wispy lines provide detail for the characters and are matched by equally thin lines creating the panel borders. Vampirella feels sufficiently modern in her appearance, eschewing her traditional red garb for most of the issue in favor of more contemporary clothes, which works exceptionally well as it makes her presence in the present that much more plausible. There is a gorgeous full-page of Vampirella in her true form (wings and all) that gives the reader a great sense of who and what she ultimately is. The colors are surprisingly bright and vivid all things considered, providing a great contrast to the blood red of both Vampirella and the violence that follows her.

Vampirella #1 is a strong re-debut for a character who's now fifty years old. Vampirella is in a constant battle to protect those she deems worth protecting who--at this point--just so happen to be everyone on Earth. Priest's script is strong and cleverly plotted, refusing to simply give the reader everything they need in a formal presentation. Gündüz does a beautiful job on the artwork, showcasing the delicate ferocity of a character like Vampirella. Vampirella #1 is a well-done nod to the legacy of the character that seeks to continue said legacy well into the future.

Vampirella #1 is available now.