Review: Vampirella #2

Things just don't seem to be going right for Vampirella at this time. For one, she has been marked as a vessel to be used to usher in the Demon Queen of Shadows Lady Umbra, which I would think would be kind of a bummer. After all, who wants to be the bringer of a demonic apocalypse? But things don't stop there.  Because of that mark, the Vatican who were working with her now have sent a crack team of holy sociopaths wholly determined to send her on to Hell, partnerships and past relations be damned. She is having nightmares regarding her failure to rescue a young girl and the guilt associated with that (and receiving the mark of course). AND...Adding to everything, she now finds herself being evicted from her posh living pad. I guess when it rains it pours. And with Issue #2 of this reboot which just happens to be during the year of the 45th anniversary of the character, I believe that writer Nancy A. Collins has brought about some seriously new blood to the comic that die-hard fans can enjoy as well as newbies alike, following old lore and bringing new deepness that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all.

Throughout her history, Vampirella has always been confident. Hey, she fights in a skimpy red one piece. You have got to have confidence to do that. And she is 100% bad ass. In Collins' portrayal, she still is.  But as an added element, we see a much softer side to this lady of the night. We still see the 100% bad ass, but Vampirella is a bad ass that makes mistakes, executes poor judgments, and then feels sadness for the consequences like all of us do. It is a real human element that allows the reader to feel things, despite her immense powers and abilities.  Even with these elements though, she is not allowed to dwell on them for too long. She does still have a killer Vatican hit squad out to get her.

Because of these issues, trust becomes a big theme throughout #2 and for #1 now that I think about it too. Who are you going to trust? I think that this may well be something we will see quite a bit of as this arc moves forward. I know she certainly has many choices, and not all of them are the most desirable. Still, that is where Vampirella finds herself in this issue as some rather interesting sources come to her asking for trust. Let's just hope she can make the right choices.

VampiVol2-02-Cov-Frison copy 2I can think of no better writer to revamp (pun intended) Vampirella than Collins. She is perfectly at home in writing about vampires, demons, and creepy things that go bump in the night. She has a flare with the darkness and I think her strength lies in how she makes these mostly immortal characters feel and look quite mortal indeed. They are written with passion and conviction. Case in point, here in this issue, there is a discussion between Vampirella and one of those who are asking for trust. They speak of this world and the beauty that lies everywhere. Coming from the source saying it, you gain a deep insight related to what normally would cause a person to recoil with disdain. But no, here you see something mere mortal, even though all outward appearances would suggest something else. It's brilliant! But, it's Collins' style, which is pretty damned brilliant anyway.

As for Patrick Berkenkotter and his artwork, he fits in quite well to the super, yet human angle of the story that Collins is trying to convey. Vampirella is in her one piece, kicking ass, but she also is taking a beating too. She is hard and soft at the same time, which makes for a nice companion to Collins style. An excellent tandem of creative talent is at work here.

Much in the same way that Gail Simone has made relevant Red Sonja again, I believe that Nancy A. Collins is likewise bringing relevance to Vampirella. I give high praise to Dynamite for recognizing the talent of these ladies in putting them both in the right place to make some comic magic.  Well done all. Looking forward to seeing how this one will play out.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Nancy A. Collins Artist: Patrick Berkenkotter Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/2/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital