What They Say:
At the not-so-polite request of her mysterious benefactors, Vampirella and Sofia step into a larger world. The hunt for Vlad Dracula brings them from the U.S. to Russia, where a forgotten burial ground, a deconsecrated church, and a horror beyond imaging await them…
With Vampirella having been around for quite a long time, I have to admit it’s probably been something like twenty years since I last read something of the character. I’ve always enjoyed the sexuality and power of the character through the cover artwork, but my experience with the storytelling side has been fairly minimal overall. So when the opportunity to drop into the series from Dynamite came up, which involves the start of a new storyline within the ongoing series, it timed out well. While long time readers may not care for parts of it, I did appreciate that they include a recap page of sorts that talks about how Vampirella operates at this point in time, hunting down the big bad creatures of the world. The book may cover some of the basics within the story itself, which makes it pretty accessible, but the whole thing has a very smooth feeling to it for a new reader like myself.
This storyline shifts events from the recent one in Germany to one in Russia, in Moscow specifically, as Vampirella is called in through her handler to check out a mysterious and intriguing incident. When a plane lands with the passengers little more than bloodstains on everything inside and no survivors, not even pilots that could land it, it sets up things for a series of disturbing events. The fear shown by the special forces is pretty well done considering what they find inside and the follow up investigators aren’t exactly all that confident of their ability to solve it as well. It’s a disturbing looking crime scene to be sure and the more they go into it, the more it resonates with just how creepy it can be to all involved.
The arrival of Vampirella and her associate Sofia leads them into the situation that, as she notes, has everyone quite fearful over something that’s beyond their understanding. Her time there is pretty neat to see unfold as she’s practically supernatural secret agent material in a way with how she gets set up by her handler for a place, materials and so forth. Though it’s mostly setup, it does feel like it bounces back and forth a bit with what she gets involved with and it’s almost a little too much, too quickly. There’s a certain theatricality to the story that’s unfolding here in order to figure out what caused the incident on the plane, but also that there are forces in Russia that have their own agendas that they see Vampirella as being an issue with. It doesn’t go into specifics at this point, but it definitely offers up a lot of interesting bits of potential to see how it will all actually come together.
As a jumping on point, this issue of Vampirella was definitely very accessible and a lot of fun to read. It has plenty of familiar elements to it to anyone who deals with horror and supernatural storylines, but it handles it pretty expertly and without problem, though I could see the pacing drawn down just a touch to let it breathe a little more. Vampirella establishes herself well here as do the other characters for their level of involvement. While this plays off of material from the previous storyline, everything here was very easy to get into and hit all the right marks. It definitely left me curious to see how far back this particular story design for the character has been going on and it left me wanting to read more to see what the real faces of some of these supporting characters are like and what the big mystery will be all about.
Readers Rating: [ratings]