I want to start this by talking a little bit about covers, what makes a good cover versus an okay cover versus a bad cover. At least in my own mind. A good cover conveys some element within the plot of the book you are looking at. Something story related that gives you an impression of what’s going on and lets you know if you want to be a part of it. Simultaneously a good cover can give you a FEEL for the book, it can capture some element of the character or some general mood of what’s inside for the same reasons; it lets you know what’s inside so you know if you want to be a part of it. An okay cover is just an evocative image, something character related that’s cool or flashy. Something that draws your eye but doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about the book. A bad cover is a random image that is neither interesting, evocative nor cool. It’s a glorified cut and paste panel. I’m afraid to say that most of Vampirella’s covers fall into the ‘okay’ to ‘bad’ category depending on your opinions about sexy, about vampire women and what defines each. I can’t really see how the covers relate to what’s inside and while I’m not normally one to nit-pick such things the rest of the book is solely without substance leaving me to digest what little I can from every part. There’s no meat on those bones so I have to suck the marrow for any kind of sustenance. Just as the covers don’t relate to the inside much of the inside doesn’t relate much to itself. I’m caught up on the story, I just read three issues in a row to get caught up and I’ve been reading since issue 1. In issue 1 the story had a lot of promise but through terse storytelling and verbose dialogue a quagmire of confusion and wasted potential was created. For as much purple prose “Victorian” dialog that happens, and you have to wade through a lot of it, there is almost no exposition. Just a lot of overly formal talking that is excruciating to read in long stretches.
Some of the problem is a large cast of female characters that look and act alike except for some subtle color scheme changes which had me confused as to who was doing what and where. The biggest confusion was from Vampirella and our lead female antagonist, especially in consecutive bedroom scenes from issue #4 where we have these two long raven haired pale women talking to two consecutive light haired men. The only real difference between the men is a mustache. I had to go back and read the sequence again just to be sure of what I was seeing. But that has, unfortunately been all too common here it’s like watching an anime where the only difference between characters is hair color. It’s hard to keep the people, places and events straight. The art is good but there just isn’t enough variety in the character designs to get everything you need to know at a glance.
This issue is the last issue in the first arc but it hasn’t really accomplished anything compelling nor does it set up anything that makes me want to read on. We have the introduction of a mystery protagonist a few issues ago only to have them turn out to be the biggest bad of the council of big bads trying to take over the city. Then the biggest bad saves a dying Vampirella, frees her from captivity and then fucks off with a promise to never bother Vampirella again.
This is followed by the quick and mostly off panel dismantling of the evil big bad council as we flash forward three weeks and reveal that the guy running for mayor, who were only properly introduced to last issue, lost the election. Apparently with the loss of the election everything is resolved. The giant all killing organization staffed by clones with numerous hidden super science hideouts is dissolved and all threats neutralized.
I don’t know. I don’t know what all happened but it was told very quickly while relying too much on coincidence and dues ex machina to fill all the gaps created by the poor storytelling. The Legederry world is still interesting, not much in the way of clever steampunk designs in the last few issues though. However with the weak entries in this otherwise vibrate setting I’m afraid, at least Vampirella, will have to go on without me.