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Vampironica #5 Review

3 min read

Blood & Milkshakes

Creative Staff:
Story: Greg and Megan Smallwood
Art: Greg Smallwood
Letterer: Jack Morelli

What They Say:
Veronica must endure a series of brutal challenges in order to put a stop to the vampirism that’s taken over Riverdale once and for all. But what surprises await her back at the Lodge mansion?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Vampironica series draws to a close – with a cryptic “for now??” at the end as you’d expect, and it’s the conclusion to a fun ride. Greg and Megan Smallwood put together a solid little project here that will definitely read better for those that get it in full since it started in March and was only five issues. The script for it continues to be fun here even if it feels like it wraps up a little too quickly but it’s paired with some great artwork that really drives it forward in a strong enough way. I continue to love the character designs but the darkness in run helps to give everything just a bit more weight that it needs to really give it some oomph.

The gang in the pool gets a decent little subplot here before the conclusion as Dilton has lead them to some safety there. The vampires are simply in wait for them to get out while prodding them from the sides in a fun way. It really is just a waiting game but the reality doesn’t unfold in that way as Mr. Lodge retains enough of his faculties to tell the rest to drain the pool. That wouldn’t be fast to be sure but in comic book time that’s a solid enough threat that the panic inside is definitely warranted. It’s a fun piece overall and I do like how it wraps up at the end with everyone getting along and almost treating it in classic old style “aw shucks” that was a bad thing but we’re all okay now way. The subplot, in the end, allows everyone to have a small role in the story and its worth it for that, human or vampire.

The main thrust is with Veronica as you’d expect and with her basically combating a dream state it works through some familiar areas. It’s a decent way to conduct the fight as she’s confronted with a reality where Archie and everyone else are paid by her father to be friends with her while another has her as the bridesmaid for Betty and Archie’s wedding, which has her feeling like she has a hangover. It works well to showcase some of her core fears and while there’s some nice action with the spider I like the way she resolves this un-reality by dealing with the version of herself that would never dress like that. Again, everything wraps up in a way that feels a little too pat and quick at the end of the issue but I’d have to read all five in a row in order to really see if it feels that way in the big picture.

In Summary:
Vampironica opened stronger than it ended overall, I think, but it’s a fun series as a whole and there’s plenty to like with the finale. Veronica’s facing off with her biggest fears is fun and it’s wonderfully illustrated with great color design to pull it all together. I really enjoy the Archie Horror line of books and hope for more of them to come since there’s some good things to work with here and a whole world of possibilities. Hopefully, the Smallwoods will get a chance to tackle another title down the line as well, with either more of this or something else fresh.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Archie Comics
Release Date: December 12th, 2018
MSRP: $3.99

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