Story: Christopher Priest
Art: Ergun Gundu
Letterer: Willie Schubert
What They Say:
Seduction of The Innocent Book Six: Vampirella’s love life becomes a major impediment to her mission as obsessed suitors both past and present attempt to manipulate her into furthering their goals. Meanwhile, the Blood Red Queen of Hearts teaches the newly resurrected Mistress Nyx a painful lesson. Anything that can happen…does!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Vampirella move into the sixth installment and I’m finding myself more and more unsure of what the game plan is here. I’m sure Priest has a solid overall vision of what he’s doing and things are fairly well mapped out with allowances for the characters to dictate the story. But as a monthly series there’s just this lack of connectivity going on here, especially as it jumps around so much in when events take place and with who. The big positive to the book continues to be Ergun Gundu’s artwork as it draws me back each and every time. It doesn’t matter the character, they all come across as interesting and leave you wanting to know more of them through his designs and how he carries them through their lives.
But, the story itself? It’s still largely framed as Vampirella talking to her therapist with elements of the larger story potentially connected to the here and now. It’s just not clear to tell because we’ve had so many back and forth pieces to tell what happened when anymore without going through the whole run. We see a number of events play out in this book with the biggest being Vampirella and Victory going several months ago to take care of some parking violations Victory had. It comes when someone has controlled a violent prisoner, potentially Vampirella’s Earthly brother, and uses him to kill a few cops and use Victory as a means for getting out in order to torment Vampirella. It’s a tense and tight scene that works well, especially as it forces Vampirella to cut loose, but it lacks the real emotional weight to it that it needs because of how the series has been told.
The book really does jump around a lot. The opening takes us back a year to Long Beach when Vampirella was dealing with some homeless on a ship that some near-feral vampires were using at the same time that Mother Mary and her underlings were coming to deal with it. It’s a not entirely clear dynamic that unfolds and puts a lot of them in danger. We see other forces aligning to bring Vampirella into the fold, which leads to the aforementioned incident above, but it lacks the reminder or nudge as to who we’re dealing with. There are some interesting moments in the middle as we see Nyx coping with her situation by buying out the bowling alley late but the staff just wants to go home, making for an uncomfortable situation. Which becomes far worse when Jezebel whisks her back home to see the chaos and death she’s causing there. You get why it matters, seeing Nyx having to kill what I think is her own kid, but it’s presented in such a scattered was so as to not carry any of that feeling with it.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of Vampirella books the last few years and some of them have definitely tested the patience of readers with what they do. Priest’s run has been the one that has tested me the most as it just doesn’t seem to be coming together in an engaging way and each issue is simply frustrating. The saving grace of Gundu’s artwork does go a long way toward easing that but it can’t salvage the book entirely, no can a really nicely done cover. I’m hopeful that things really do take shape soon because it needs to start feeling like there’s meaning to what’s going on here.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: December 18th, 2019