For the last several months, I have had a blast in reading Dynamite’s revamp (pun intended) of Vampirella. Through the very excellent writing of Nancy A. Collins and the well stylized artistic design of Patrick Berkenkotter, this Queen of Darkness has been introduced to a new generation of readers with far less campiness and much more substance. Of course Vampirella’s iconic red one piece fighting suit is still there. But hey, she brings it and that is one of those campy aspects that make this lady such a memorable character. With last month’s ending of the first arc we are entering into new territory. And dare I say, our Ms. V. has new responsibilities. For one, now that the Lady Umbra has been defeated, Vampirella has more time to contemplate her next move. During the first arc, she lost her employment gig with The Vatican and now finds herself in the crosshairs of their elite, targeted for death. She might need to figure something out on that one pretty soon. The other big aspect with this arc is that during Vampirella’s last adventure, she acquired quite a lot of spoils from her victories. But with those spoils, come responsibilities that she may not be ready to take. Only time will tell. At least she does get rid of that god awful Feary Tales book during this issue that has been trashing her legacy pretty badly (see review). Nice touch by the way. I actually laughed out loud.
Within this issue, Vampirella is introduced to a secret society of monsters called The Kabal that work to protect mystical creatures by eliminating dangerous elements and by quietly integrating through the fabric of humankind. Their biggest threat? Good old fashioned demons because nothing can spoil a party like demons can.
While meeting with the society, Vampirella is thrust into the mix as she bears witness to some evil afoot that is beginning to show itself in various parts of the world. The person responsible for it is an old alchemist who appears hell bent on destruction. Looks like it might be time for Vampirella to put on the one piece, cause the hunt is on.
After pacing through a strong first arc, Collins appears to show no signs of letting up as she has penned another good one. Much of the issue flows quickly with flash strikes followed by transitional dialogue. It works well and develops a strong story which has served her well since issue one. I still am a little bit put off by the opening lines of narrative however, that establishes this issue as well as some past issues. But with the exception of that one blip, Vampirella has been a well written series thus far, with this issue being no exception.
Patrick Berkenkotter continues to do impressive art. His uses of high contrast looks and shadowy features make for a glitzy redo of the classic character. Vampirella’s hair has never been blacker and her red one piece never redder in any of the issues to date. The one thing that really sticks out in this issue though is the excess of blood splatter. The creatures involved in this issue are pretty brutal and Berkenkotter transitions nicely from the sexiness of Vampirella and members of the Kabal, to the grotesque renderings of those nasty creatures that are wreaking havoc on society. He hits both with ease that makes Vampirella well represented for what she is; sexy and grotesque.
Up next for our vampy vixen…more travel, more adventure, and more action as she looks to track down the culprit of these various paranormal events. She appears to have only one goal in mind, destroy. The table has been prepared. Let us feast together on this tasty issue.
Writer: Nancy A. Collins Artist: Patrick Berkenkotter Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/3/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital