Altered States, I guess, is the Elseworlds of the Dynamite universe. It’s good to have outlets to tell those random stories and take different approaches to characters. Often times you can find something that will stick, something that resonates with fans that you can mine later on. Son of the Demon is what instantly comes to mind as it was a DC Elseworlds one shot that lead to the introduction of Damian Wayne. Some random exploration of the character, meant to take place in a continuity vacuum, resonated with fans and became a part of the full universe. Altered States: Vampirella poses the question: What if Vampirella were stupid? No, that’s overly mean, the story isn’t that bad but it’s not overly compelling either. It’s essentially Vampirella in reverse. Instead of coming from Drakulon to Earth to drink blood she comes from Earth to Drakulon to drink water. You see, on Drakulon blood flows through the ground in pipes to peoples home. Blood is essentially ‘water’. Furthermore Drakulonians ‘bleed’ ‘water’, there are not enough quotes to make this concept less confusing in the explanation. So Ella is considered a Vampire by the Drakulons. She is Vampire Ella. Who needs to drink water from the veins of the Drakulons. But not really because she has a space ship that will provide, essentially, infinite water. In one panel she has incredible strength but they don’t go into that too much. Is anything resonating with you fans yet?
I think the story would have benefitted from either being a longer one-shot or a mini-series. There is so much establishing and forced exposition to cram as much information about the world as possible that by the time we know what we need to know we get one very brief action scene and the story is over. It seemed a little ambitious to take the story, turn it upside down and cram it into 22 pages. The writing and pacing would probably have benefitted from having more time to ‘show’ so they wouldn't have to spend so much time ‘telling’. With the story and the pacing I can’t say I can even recommend this to Vampirella fans but on the other hand it’s not like it’s poorly written or drawn so it gets a 2 for effort but ultimately fails to be compelling enough to read.
Altered States - Vampirella #1 Writer: Nancy A. Collins Artist: Francesco Manna Colorist: Viviane Souza Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/4/15 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital