Story: Erik Burnham
Art: Ediano Silva
Colors: Dinei Ribeiro
Letterer: Troy Peteri
What They Say:
The vampiric refugees from the planet Drakulon are finally here, and the many races of Mars have united to stand against them, by any means necessary. Does Vampirella have any hope of saving what’s left of her race? It all ends here — but does it all end for the people of Drakulon… or the people of Mars?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The crossover draws to a close with this installment and that means there’s a whole lot going on here. It’s not rushed as we’ve had a solid build toward this for a few issues now and it works well with having so much happening, cementing it as a pivotal time for Barsoom. Erik Burnham juggles a lot of characters here and while some are a bit too thin, such as Gur Tus, the core of what was needed is there and the main characters click very well. And once again, it doesn’t hurt at all that Ediano Silva turned in a great looking book, one that has me wanting both a sequel and a spinoff to focus on the Drakulon side as I really liked their take on what we saw of them and their culture here.
The Drakulon threat is pretty much what drives events here as they’ve arrived, and that has the various forces on Barsoom aligned against them. They’re all still largely operating independently, viewing the Drakulons as something that can be used to gain a strategic advantage with, and that’s problematic for a world like this. Gur Tus is very straightforward in all of this with his only goal to protect Helium, never mind if the rest of Barsoom is overrun with Vampirella’s people. The fight scenes are pretty solid and there’s a good sense of scale and tension about it, especially since it plays alongside what Vampirella and Dejah Thoris are doing to try and deal with the threat. The core of it is a truth in that Dejah has seen so many diverse things in her journey so far that the reality is that the races and people would be stronger together to advance their civilizations than this constant competition that has stagnated the world.
That’s not an easy thing for the older generation to grapple with, particularly amid a threat, but the truth does make itself visible as Dejah is able to use these tools to push back against the invading side while looking for a solution, along with Vampirella serving as a protector of sorts. While we do get this fairly standard internal big fight at the end and amusing twist about the reality of the invasion that makes me grin, it does wrap up in a fairly tidy way. One that also drives us toward some interesting futures that I wish we’d get to explore, from the Drakulon on Earth in significant numbers to Barsoom being seeded greater with life – and the reseeding of Drakulon as well. There are a lot of story opportunities there to be had.
I really enjoy both of these characters and while there have been some crossover stories before that brought them (and lots of other leading ladies) together, this one was a great self-contained story that felt like it worked through some really good ideas. The ability to be able to play at things without any long term consequence is always a plus as a standalone book and that’s something that really makes it feel like it works, taking risks and changing the status quo. Burnham kept things moving well with lots of interesting directions taken while Silva brought it to life wonderfully with the artwork and with Ribeiro’s color work taking it to the next step. This is a very fun series that I’m glad I got to check out and definitely worth checking out in trade if singles aren’t your thing.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: February 13th, 2019