Elvira’s adventures through time leave off with the classic horror authors and turn to the classics. First stop – Dante’s Inferno. What’s a nice girl like Elvira doing in a place like this? Find out in Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #5 from Dynamite Entertainment.
Writer: David Avallone
Artist: Dave Acosta
Colorist: Ellie Wright
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 1, 2019
Previously in Elvira: Mistress of the Dark: Our titular character was bouncing through time, meeting classic horror authors while fighting off (or fleeing from) Vlad Tepes. She finally returns to Hollywood, but no, it isn’t the right time period – she finds herself on the movie set for Bride of Frankenstein. Doctor Faust and Vlad Tepes arrive, and a merry chase runs through several familiar looking movie classics. Vlad meets a horrible end in some electrical cables, and Faust finds that his magic has stopped working, and he cannot transport himself or Elvira out of this time period. Maybe Faust can’t, but the devil himself can, arriving in dramatic fashion and taking both of them away!
AS THINGS GO FROM BAD TO EVIL
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #5 with Elvira being called a tramp as someone hurls a drink at her. As we take a moment to get oriented, we are at Faust’s home, where his wife, Helen, is cross with him. Elvira slips out the door only to find herself in a fiery landscape, inhospitable and populated by horrible beasts. Well, Faust may have made a deal with the Devil and ended up here, but our plucky heroine didn’t. She’s not even dead!
This is the point at which Helen makes herself known as Helen of Troy. Cue some fangirling on Elvira’s part. Helen is maybe a thousand years past her prime, but only looks moderately older. Stranded in Hell, she’s grateful she has a bar. She’s also got a pretty sharp tongue.
Faust calls upon Mephistopheles, who shows up and takes away the bar (sparking an argument between Helen and Faust). Elvira, on the other hand, very politely asks to be sent back into the real world. There’s one little problem – once souls get here, they travel, but only in one direction. He cannot help her. She would have to talk to Lucifer, down, down, down through all the layers of Hell. Cue the jokes about travel (which are actually pretty cute). And then she encounters Edgar Allen Poe (for whom Hell may involve a Waldenbooks, with plenty of Stephen King in stock). He takes her as far as the River Acheron, where she meets the Ferryman. A few more jokes, and he takes her on board and hands her an oar. (He has a small outboard motor.) What does she need an oar for? The dead, rising out of the water and trying to climb in!
And who should be among them but Vlad Tepes. I was not expecting him. Perhaps I should have been, but I was delighted by his arrival. He just wants to cross Acheron as well, and they go together to the gates of Lucifer’s…castle? House? Cave? Dwelling? Vlad demands to take his place in the ruling elite, and gets yoinked off. And then it’s down to Elvira and Lucifer.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF CREEPY
The Faust home at the start of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #5 is sort of generically old-fashioned, which makes the double splash of Hell all the more dramatic. It’s a pretty bleak landscape with a lot of great inking that gives it depth, and I like the detail, in a close-up panel of Elvira, of the red of the Hellscape being reflected in her eyes. There’s a similar flavor in the long shot of all the millions of souls drearily marching into the depths later. I kind of like this classic literary take which has been a hallmark of the series.
Again, characters are charmingly expressive which helps sell the rather absurdist humor. Elvira is pretty snappy, but this is a bigger, scarier place than anywhere she’s been before. We see flashes of trepidation before she pulls herself together. It’s fun to revisit Edgar Allen Poe, and like I said, having Vlad Tepes show up has moved past scary into funny.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL SOME SURPRISES LEFT
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #5 is a little less campy then previous issues, but I do like the way it’s found a theme in classic literature and is embracing that hard while twisting as many things as they can. My background in literature is tickled, and Elvira is the perfect vehicle.
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #5
A quest through the Underworld, as only Elvira can do.