Story: Christopher Priest
Art: Giovanni Timpano, Ergun Gundu
Letterer: Willie Schubert
What They Say:
Mysterious alien creatures secreted within the mountains of the British Virgin Islands capture Vampirella and transport her home to Drakulon just as Vampi’s best bud, Benny the Witch, is about to become a human sacrifice. Will Vampirella give up life on her home world to save yet another human? Will Benny be the guest of honor at a native barbecue?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Having had Vampirella storylines go south on me before, seeing this one do the same isn’t a surprise. I’ve been hit or miss depending on the creator and the chances they’re willing to take with it. Priest is definitely taking chances but it’s gone in directions that have not clicked with me at all and just keeps getting worse as it goes along because of a lack of what feels like a truly coherent storyline or even interesting characters. Timpano’s guest stint continues in this issue, though Gundu provides some assists, and I can’t complain too much. As much as I love Gundu’s artwork, Timpano puts in a lot of good pages and panels here to give the characters life and showcase their physical sides very well.
A lot of the book focuses on Leger and the connection that he’s got with whatever’s controlling him and that puts Vampirellain a real pickle at the start. She’s initially believing she ended up back in her own homeworld after being exiled to Earth for so long. There’s a nice mild recap of some of the events that lead to it basically being this husk of a dustbowl of decay, such as how Lilith’s policies brought about the ruin and how she had to be dragged out of the main capital at the end. That’s where Vampirella is now, interacting with a senator that still survives there and wants to essentially arrest Vampirella for her presence here. The thing is, all of it’s largely just a dream of sorts created by Leger. It says a good bit about Vampirella that she ended up there and all but the reality is that she has to break free back on Earth and in reality.
And she does so, though not easily and not without some pushback, as she attempts to break through to Leger at the same time. The Jedi mind trick amuses me as does the bacon commentary that comes up after she gets a good bite into him. The problem, however, is that once back into awake reality, it deals with the various minor subplots that have tied together in the last issue or two and they just don’t click. The felt light and ephemeral previously and disconnected from everything else. So when it’s used more so here, it still retains that feeling of inconsequence. It all comes back to her going back to what she knows and hoping that those she cares about will follow but it also zeroes in on her need to protect the weak while really coming to grips with what’s out there, intimating that it may be more of a threat than we realize.
I love Vampirella as a character and the kinds of material she can generate but not all of it is going to work all of the time. Priest’s series has had some interesting moments from the start but nothing cohesive and coherent enough where you can really identify a story, which after eight issues isn’t a great thing. The main draw for me continues to be the artist sand their creativity and that’ll keep me coming back from more. The story is what it is and while there are interesting bits along the way they really can’t sustain the whole.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: February 19th, 2020