The definitive line of this new issue sums up not just #8, but the entire series as a whole. That line…
“You (Vampirella) are smarter than you dress.”
Yes, this version of Vampirella written by Nancy A. Collins and drawn by Patrick Berkenkotter is much smarter and stylized than the traditional view of this classic vampy vixen. And it is done in a good way. This Vampirella is smart and strong with the sexy there, but not overwhelming the reader. This Vampirella is more than simply sexy. We have a true comic heroine in the making here rising above her pin-up roots and taking a place of power among her supernatural brethren. It has been a good run that is smarter than it dresses, keeping the reader entertained and attentive.
The second arc is now in full swing with this month’s reading and things are starting to move. Vampirella is now a part of The Kabal, a secret organization of supernatural beings that work to protect mankind and mystic creatures from possible doom by any means necessary. They kind are like a Men in Black with the aliens being replaced by demons, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other accursed folks. From the last issue, we were introduced to a rather nasty psycho zombie virus that affects its victims almost immediately and spreads very quickly. Behind this sinister sickness, is an old alchemist named Dr. Faustus who appears to want to put an end to humankind as well as monster-kind. Vampirella has been dispatched by The Kabul to capture the “good” doctor and get to the bottom of the reasoning behind his intent.
Of course, our lady of the night has help from a French werewolf named Tristan as well as a gentlemen whose ancestors are straight from literature (think Poe) and who fits a perfect match for the task that is at hand, which is identifying our doctor’s location based on the smells of the virus. From there, the confrontation occurs and I am happy to say that the story continues as elements of this diabolical scheme come into play.
I have grown accustomed to Nancy A. Collins’ beginning narratives that she has placed in several of these issues to date with this current one being the most appropriate that I have read so far. She spends a good amount of time covering the fate and affliction of Dr. Faustus and it works well to give us some sympathy to him and his person. Even so, this guy is one sick bastard who has taken his obsession to end his curse to the nth level, putting all of us in the set up for colossal doom and death.
But we should never fear however as Vampirella is on the charge and she is determined to nab our doctor and take care of business. Through well written and action oriented efforts, we receive sound well placed details that perpetuate the story as well as an ending that may make us wonder who the real monsters are in this tale before all is done. For that I give big prop points. It would appear that Collins does have an idea where things are headed and she is placing Vampirella in a more confident light as she is beginning to recognize her strength and power where she had not in earlier issues. It is a nice progression that I hope will continue as the arc moves onward.
And with the more that I read Vampirella, I continue to be impressed with Patrick Berkenkotter’s high contrast art. He has found a strong balance with the sexy and the macabre that blends in perfectly to the psyche of our heroine. Like Collins’ written portrayal, we are seeing a Vampirella with more confidence, more attitude, and dare I say more body than previous efforts. And I don’t mean that kind of body. I am speaking more of substantive drawing. This lady is smarter than her dress and Berkenkotter brings it. Colorist Jorge Sutil likewise brings the dark with the bold working a nice tandem with Berkenkotter as well.
I can’t really say too much bad about the title. There are some choppy dialogues here or there, but I do not believe that it interferes too terribly bad with the overall presentation. I like Collins’ writing. And with Berkenkotter’s art as well as Sutil’s color, we have an enjoyable and satisfying story that the reader can sink its teeth into (pun intended).
Writer: Nancy A. Collins Artist: Patrick Berkenkotter Colorist: Jorge Sutil Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/7/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital