Review - Vengeance of Vampirella #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"Once upon a time, there lived a very special person...a child of darkness but also a champion of light!"

Vampirella is an enduring character who's been a mainstay of comics for quite some time now. Things have typically worked out for her, but in Vengeance of Vampirella #1 from Dynamite Comics things are looking dire. The issue is written by Thomas Sniegoski, illustrated by Michael Sta. Maria, colored by Omi Remalante, Jr. and lettered by Troy Peteri.

Set 25 years after the initial series, Vampirella is Dead!? Long Live Vampirella! Humanity holds on, but barely, the playthings and slaves of a multitude of supernatural monstrosities that have made the earth their own. Mistress Nyx continues to rule the planet, her Chaos Lords reigning over the various regions of the world, but she is getting bored - There's no one to challenge her! That is, until a small, but determined rebellion finds what could be their savior or seal their doom!

There's always been a sense of imminent victory when Vampirella's involved, but Sniegoski throws that optimism out the window in the first issue as Vampirella is in a very bad place. Sniegoski knows what makes a good story is conflict and his approach in the first issue is a very good dose of it that works exceptionally well as a set-up issue. It's a testament to the longevity of the character that Sniegoski can spend most of the first issue focused on the other key players not named Vampirella for the aforementioned set-up and the issue still work. The dialogue in the issue feels slick and informative without being overly heavy on the expository. Sniegoski paces the issue very well in moving through the events without rushing things.

Maria's artwork is very adept at capturing the savage elegance of Vampirella, despite her lack of page-time. That being said, the rest of the issue is illustrated in a way that feels distant, in that Maria uses some distant perspectives for the characters. This allows the reader to get a sense of what's going on, but there's not a lot of intricate detail on display when it comes to rendering said characters. The panels are cleanly arranged against empty gutters which add a sense of sterility to the artwork. The colors by Remalante, Jr., are rich and do a good job of conveying the sense of apocalypse and blood.

Vengeance of Vampirella #1 is a pretty solid issue that puts Vampirella in the rather uncomfortable place of being on the wrong side of a fight for a change. The world has suffered because of it and whether or not she can rally remains to be seen. Sniegoski infuses the series with some new blood so to speak by upending the status quo, starting the tale off at a very dire place. The artwork by Maria is pretty good at capturing the essence of the apocalypse. Vengeance of Vampirella #1 is definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of the character, but it's also accessible enough that if you don't know who she is you can get a good sense of what's going on.

Vengeance of Vampirella #1 is available now.