Story: Greg and Megan Smallwood
Art: Greg Smallwood
Letterer: Jack Morelli
What They Say:
The smartest student at Riverdale High uncovers Veronica’s secret. Will he lend a helping hand or try to drive a stake through her heart?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a lot of enjoyment in the Afterlife with Archie series out there, as irregular as it is, I was wary about another supernatural series coming out with Vampironica. And a two-month gap between issues doesn’t help assuage some of those concerns, at least in the short term. Greg and Megan Smallwood have put together another strong installment here that makes for a great read as it pushes Veronica into such a difficult situation and finding help in strange places. It’s a bit denser this time around as there’s a lot of backstory covered but Greg’s artwork is just fantastic throughout and that alone makes it a fun read.
Veronica’s situation after the crash and all that happened takes a darker turn in a couple of ways. First, we see that the cars from the crash are gone and that has in a fair bit of a panic because that was the last thing she expected. Her hope is to find some help from her friends, or more specifically with Archie, but discovers that Betty had played her a bit and is instead hanging out with Archie watching scary movies. It’s cute watching the two of them on the couch together being all traditional high school kids while Veronica offers up her angry commentary from outside. She’s struggling and angry in general but with the whole vampirism and all, well, her emotions are certainly ramped up. Seeing her opt to go hide out in the boiler room of the school still feels like a weird choice though.
What makes it amusing as it progresses is that it’s Dilton that finds her the next day and realizes what she is – though not without some struggle and tension as to what she might do to him. He at least is proactive in securing his position, if just briefly, by tying her down but he’s really more interested in helping her because of the curiosity of what she is. The two are definitely comical to watch together, particularly her expressions, and the time at Dilton’s home only amps that up nicely. It’s cute and silly but it also allows for the simple infodump to hit with a look at the origins of vampires so that Veronica is up to speed and we get familiar with the context of it all within this world.
The Vampironica series is one that’s very well put together with a great concept that’s well-executed with wonderful artwork. The gap between issues is a bit problematic for maintaining energy and story consistency as a reader but this issue works through some solid setup and backstory elements while also giving us a lot of really fun Veronica moments. And that’s the main draw for me in that I’m definitely a Veronica fan and part of me wants this kind of story adapted into the Riverdale TV series just for a one-off kind of episode to see it play out in that form. This is a fun book and I’m looking forward to more, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Archie Comics
Release Date: May 30th, 2018