Story: Thomas Sniegoski
Art: Roberto Castro
Colors: Omi Remalante Jr.
Letterer: Troy Peteri
What They Say:
In order to resurrect the Danse Macabre, Vampirella must first discover what secret Mr. Sabastain was so desperate to keep hidden that he would summon and bind one of the legendary Hounds of Pandemonium to protect it.
Who or what is Abbadon? And could it end the reign of Nyx—or will it bring about the end of all life as we know it?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Vengeance of Vampirella series has been a lot of fun as Thomas Sniegoski has taken us to a future where Vampirella has a lot to deal with but it’s not in some of the strange places that other future-oriented storylines have gone that boxed themselves in. This issue continues the two-track approach to the story so we get a good bit of what’s going on with both sides and Roberto Castro again delivers a strong looking book. There are a lot of things going on here but when it shifts to the action it looks fantastic with the layouts and flow of the movement that really makes it engaging. And while there’s a natural bit of male gaze going on with some of the layouts, the book also doesn’t lean so heavily into it that it leaves you rolling your eyes at it.
Nyx’s story starts with a little more recap that I think is necessary but it makes clear some are really concerned with the way she’s cut off the Chaos lords. But she has her own plans in that when the connection is re-established later, and she knows it will be, she’ll have shown that she was in the right to do so and their methods weren’t going to be effective. Nyx intends to really conquer things and put Vampirella in her place and she knows what kind of tricks that Vampirella can get up to, so removing some of the things that will distract her or get in her way certainly makes sense. There are some good movements here on her part and it is made clear that she really does understand the threats that Vampirella poses and how she can work things. But she has the thrill of people getting some hope through Vampirella only to crush it anew, making it all the sweeter.
At the same time, we saw Vampirella at the safe house of Sebastain’s and that plays out about as badly as expected. While Pendragon is trying to figure out how to help after she ended up elsewhere in the residence, Vampirella has to face off against Balthazar, a demonic hellhound that Sebastain set as the gatekeeper and Vampirella isn’t on the list. The two make for a good pairing for a fight with their style, approach, and even dialogue. But it doesn’t get overplayed as we get Sebastain in his spirit form showing up to try and ease things. This fills us in on what happened to the Danse Macabre when Nyx attacked with surgeon-like precision and decimated them but it also has him revealing his secret weapon at the new nerve center that the updated Danse Macabre may be operating out of. It’s a little over my head with my limited familiarity with the Vampirella mythology so I’ll hold off until the next issue fills me in on things.
The battle lines are drawn at this point but the assembling of forces and plans is just getting underway. The story covers a lot of ground in its pages here and while it may feel dialogue-heavy at times it’s accomplishing a lot of things with varied sections of the cast while also filling in some details from the past. I’m really enjoying how this story is unfolding after some other recent future-forward storytelling went off the rails in a huge way as this one feels like it has a plan and knows what it wants to do and what it needs to do. Plus it has a lot of really great artwork from Castro that plays up what Vampirella fans love with the fanservice but also delivers it in an engaging way.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 17th, 2020