Last week we read two different launching points into the Vampirella franchise.
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This week, we take some time to examine some other famous teams to tackle the iconic vampire.
Vampirella #1 (Dynamite)
Since Vampirella landed at Dynamite, there have been four different #1 issues, including the forthcoming one written by Paul Cornell. This #1 was written by Kate Leth, of horror-writers.com’s favorite Spell on Wheels, but also known for her Marvel work on Patsy Walker, Hellcat.
While this issue carries a #1 on the cover and a new costume is introduced, it is a continuation of the previous series. That does not make it impossible for new readers to jump in, but the story telling felt a bit clunky throughout the issue. While the dialogue was pretty much well written, there seemed to be some restraint on Leth’s storytelling that she is known for, with strong independent women. I cannot say whether that was an editorial decision or if Leth was still trying to find her voice for the character while managing the old continuity.
The art provided by Eman Casallos and Valentina Pinto was very workman. There seemed to be nothing stand out-ish about the particular style, but nothing incredibly jarring. Compared to the artists reviewed last week, it simply does not stack up. Where last week Amanda Conner even at her best showed her raw talent that could not be denied. While Vampirella #0 may not have been show stopping, it did an excellent job of setting the mood and tone for the book. The art here in this issue was flat.
This is a hard book to recommend to a new Vampirella readers as it was fine overall, but felt compelling. If you are a fan of Leth’s other work outside Vampi, tracking down the first trade of this to see where it goes would not be out of the question.
Ratings: 2.5 out of 5
Vampirella: Rebirth #1 (Harris)
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. These creators have worked on some of the most iconic properties and delivered some of the most memorable tales. Whether it was Batman: The Long Halloween or Daredevil: Yellow, all of them still fill the shelves of most comic fans.
It is really hard to judge this book, because that creative team only hands us an 8-page story at the beginning of the issue. While it is fun for fans of their other work, it certainly would not hook any new readers to Vampirella.
The rest of the book is straight cheesecake. While there are fans of that in their comics, it is best used sparingly and hard to continuously pick up a book based on that alone. Due to the nature of the character there is nothing overly complicated to pick up with this #1 issue, but this barely registers as a true #1.
This is really only for the big Loeb and Sale fans, but not for those looking to jump into the Vampirella universe.
Ratings: 2.5 out of 5 (3 out of 5 for the Loeb/Sale, 2 out of 5 for the rest of the issue)
Vampirella Lives #2 (Harris)
While, I tried to keep most reviews about “jumping on points,” I wanted to highlight at least one issue of Warren Ellis short run on Vampirella.
This issue really highlighted the fact that Vampirella is timeless and deserves her spot on the comic stands. With no real continuity memorized, hopping into this story mid-arc in the ongoing Harris publication felt like anyone could pick up this book and understand everything you need to know about the character, whether you read the recap page or not. At the end of the day, Vampirella is a bikini clad, bad girl, who is trying to do some good.
I have to admit that I rather liked this issue. Whether it is in comics or prose novels, Ellis just finds a way to capture the reader with great characters and smooth dialogue.
The art is once again provided by Amanda Conner and it pops off the page. Although this is the same team that provided art for the Millar/Morrison issue reviewed, it really hits a stride here. Conner does a great job of blending cheesecake with cartoon for a tone that feels right for Vampirella. Palmiotti course corrected and really uses inks to highlight Conner’s work instead which I wanted so badly in Vampirella Preview Issue.
While this is a #2 issue, this certainly intrigues me enough to check out the Master Collection of Ellis’s work on the character. This was not a masterpiece but was very enjoyable.
Ratings: 3 out of 5
There are still plenty of more creative teams over the years of Vampirella and I had a lot of fun going over these back issues. If there is a creative team or an issue of Vampirella you would like me to review, please make sure to reach out. Or if you love Vampirella, I want to know! Make sure to like the article and tweet me @hebruise.