Story: Greg and Megan Smallwood
Art: Greg Smallwood
Letterer: Jack Morelli
What They Say:
The vampire siege on Riverdale begins! Will Veronica lead the town towards salvation… or doom?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With not quite as long between issues this time around, Vampironica has another good installment but we again recommend reading it when you can read the prior issues with it. This one is mostly action so just dropping into it will feel a little weird if you don’t quite remember the setup in the previous issue. Greg and Megan Smallwood deliver a very fun issue here as we get familiar vampire tropes playing out but with the Archie gang pushing back as hard as they can. It doesn’t have Veronica leading the day, though she is the lead here, and it works in several characters from the minor side so that it has some additional life and fun to it – and uncertainty with who all will get taken down. The plan to turn Riverdale into a vampire homestead is certainly making progress.
With everyone loaded for a fight, there’s definitely a lot of fun in watching the group go at the various lower level vampires that are out there. Archie’s idea of using the holy water in the squirt guns definitely fits within the mold of Archie Comics in general but leans nicely into the horror line as well. Greg’s artwork does get a little lost in some of the darkness here of the scenes but the flow of it is definitely fun as the group spreads out while trying to push back so that the town doesn’t go under. Betty naturally tries to protect as many people as possible but also obviously ends up captured to be used as a wedge with Veronica. Veronica, for her part, goes her own way early on to deal with Cheryl but spends most of her time dealing with Reggie who is still ticked about how their last date went, even though that was her trying to save him. Reggie, man.
The scale of events plays up nicely here since the kids are naturally outnumbered and seeing Veronica put in a difficult place makes for some good tension. But one of the more enjoyable aspects of this series so far is the way Veronica is working so well with Dilton – even if she feels like she comes close to killing him a few times. His plan with the holy water is definitely a good one since it can provide a couple of different uses for the group but it just shows some creative thinking in general on their part. The panic that’s increasing as Archie and his group find themselves struggling more plays well as it feels natural considering what they’re facing as does Veronica’s own tension as she starts to understand who the real master may be and what she’s going to have to do to try and turn things back to normal in Riverdale.
I continue to enjoy the heck out of this series with what it’s doing. It’s not Afterlife with Archie in terms of story or presentation but it’s not trying to be as it’s working its own intent. Greg and Megan Smallwood are hitting expected but solid story beats while the characters are reacting much as you’d expect them to. With everyone on board here we get less of Veronica, which is the only downside to it in my mind, but it’s balanced with some creative moments and a setup for her in the next book to really take charge. With great looking artwork and a good sense of fun about it all even amid the violence, Vampironica hits a sweet spot for me.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Archie Comics
Release Date: October 24th, 2018