Review: Vampirella #4

Vapirella is back. And this time, she is taking out some of her more rare vampiric cousins as a means to build her strength and resolve in preparation to stop the Mark of Umbra who is described as Our Lady of Shadows and the Bride of the Apocalypse.  Old enemy Ethan Shroud placed the Mark on her as a curse that will slowly prepare her body for the Lady of Shadows to inhabit.  Once she is completely in, there is no way to escape it for her or us. Needless to say, her cushy gig with The Vatican is now over thanks to the curse and she is public enemy number one with them since harboring such a horrific darkness doesn’t sit too cool with the men of the cloth. She is without resource. But fear not dear reader as Vampirella still has some kick in her.  And with the help of a Nosferatu vampire named Drago, an uneasy partnership has occurred where the hunting of these rare vampires are happening.  Vampirella must absorb the blood of these slain creatures to gain their strength that will allow her to do battle with Umbra when she comes calling.

This little vamp on vamp violence is being brought to us by the wonderfully delightful creative mind of Nancy A. Collins with the backing artwork provided by Patrick Berkenkotter.  These two have been blowing up this title and are once again making Ms. Vampirella quite valid within the world of comics. While at the same time, they are giving the reader a little education into the world of varying species of vampire that is out there from the realm of myths and legends.  The first stop last month involved a particularly nasty little fiend known as a Krasue that was a floating head and entrails.  Up next for our heroine, a more traditional and pretty creepy, slithery being known as a Lamia who doesn’t play nice with would be victims.

The Lamia is a shape shifter of sorts who can transform from a very beautiful and flirtatious lady into a large, powerful, and evil snake-like creature that lures unsuspecting suitors in and then devours them in a horrendous reptilian death all set on the backdrop of a small picturesque island in Greece.

Vampirella #4That’s the bare bones description of the issue.  The more detailed version involves some pretty heady issues at work in regard to inhibition, fear, and point of view.  We see a lot of different angles here in #4 that really helps to solidify Collins’ brilliant writing skill.  She blends equal parts of horror, drama, action, and even a little bit of comedy that helps to make Vampirella #4 a fun and intense comic that hooks you in and gives you the desire for more. Collins writes Vampirella as she has known the character for all of her life. She is relaxed in her pace with various action bits here and there that pop like a pack of firecrackers making for a strong and entertaining read.

Patrick Berkenkotter also utilizes a nice artistic hand in his renderings that tend to humanize many of the characters within the story that may not exactly be human While at the same time, demonizing others that are fully human.  It is a nice touch that works well with Collins’ themes that are at work.

I would like to give some additional props to cover artist Terry Dodson on this one as well.  For the main cover, we get Vampirella in her battle pose over a pool in the moonlight.  The reflection on the pool is one of darkness and evil that gives an awesome set up to exactly what Collins is trying to convey. It is a dead on rendering that wraps up #4 into a perfect package.

I can find very little wrong with Vampirella during this run so far.  She is bringing it strong with the support of Collins and Berkenkotter providing the detail. This one might be the best one yet for the series. More to come soon. And I am excited about that.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Nancy A. Collins Artist: Patrick Berkenkotter Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/3/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital