Vampirella is dead, long live Vampirella! Death never stopped our vivacious vampire vixen in the past, and it won’t stop her now. In the ruins of a world conquered by the Chaos Lords, there is descent. But can even the Chaos Lords deal with a feral, newly resurrected Vampirella? Find out in VENGEANCE OF VAMPIRELLA #2 from Dynamite Entertainment.
Writer: Thomas Sniegoski
Artist: Michael Sta. Maria
Colorist: Omi Remalante Jr.
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Joseph Rybandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in VENGEANCE OF VAMPIRELLA: Twenty-five years has passed since the death of Vampirella, and the Chaos Lords have conquered the world. Then Vampirella gave her life in an attempt to stop the forces of Mistress Nyx and the Chaos Lords. Now, the story of Vampirella is a tale that the last human rebels tell to keep their spirits up. But even as Mistress Nyx reigns over the land, the magician known as Pendragon makes his plans to resurrect Vampirella and attempt to free the world from the Chaos Lords.
GUESS WHO’S BACK, BACK AGAIN…
Last issue, we saw the death of Vampirella, again. Yes, I know this is only the second issue, but she was technically dead most of the first issue. Luckily there are beings who understand the world needs a vicious, vampire vixen to stalk the night in a red bikini and high white collar. As the skeletal remains of Vampirella lay among the scattered and disjointed remains of a city laid low, a silver form appears in the sky and using a power that only its creator could understand. The resurrection of Vampirella is begun, in an explosive show of force.
Meanwhile, minions of the Chaos Lords comb the ruins looking for what fell from the sky. The horned and green-skinned Dur-Roc, his demon dog Blister, and the multi-limbed Tikk know something is out there. It may be old tech or it may be arcane. Blister has worked itself into a furry fury as Dur-Roc lets slip his lead and the creature bolts into the distance. Moments later, the body of the animal greets the pair as it is thrown back at them. The subject of their hunt turns out to be a feral Vampirella. As she tears through the duo, we know she only wishes so sate her thirst.
Elsewhere, in the lair of the Chaos Lords, Mistress Nyx is late for a very important meeting. The Chaos Lords have been awaiting her arrival. As their cthulic countenance appears, they demand to know what kept her. She tells them this is nothing, a minor distraction, and she has it well under control. The Chaos Lords are concerned, however, because it is rumored that the insurgents are still actively fighting against their rule. They tell her to take care of the rebels, and to be on-time for their next meeting. Having been dismissed, the daughter of the Chaos Lords turns to following up on the true reason for her lateness. She has a plan, one which has been set in motion by the release of information.
High in the sky, the silver form from earlier extrudes another smaller form. The being behind the spell that resurrected Vampirella, Pendragon, is searching for her. He finds that he is too late, and Vampirella has left the scene of her resurrection, and the bloody corpses of Tikk and Dur-Roc. She has also left a message, her symbol, sprayed in blood on a broken wall.
The race to find Vampirella is on, with both Nyx and Pendragon assuming they will be successful. However, the rebels stumble upon the vicious vixen in a time of their need, and may throw all other plans to the wind.
I STOPPED THE WORLD AND BLED FOR YOU…
Vengeance of Vampirella was originally published by Harris Comics in the mid-nineties, and was part of an effort to give a more violent and dark Vampirella a place to play. Originally written by Tom Sniegoski (Angel, Vampirella Strikes), it ran for 26 issue (1-25 and a Wizard 1/2 issue) and featured early work by star creators such as Amanda Conner, Jae Lee, Jimmy Palmiotti and many more. The series was followed up by the three-part Death and Destruction series, and there is where you will believe a Vampirella can die. It is from those epic beginnings that this current series picks up, and Sniegoski has lost none of his flair for the dramatically violent. This is old school, nineties comic book violence. From Vampirella’s bloody return to flying wyvern/shark/dragon things snatching up little old ladies, this is book is touted as not for the kiddies and it sets out to prove that isn’t. Unfortunately, it feels a little jaded in today’s market. There is potential for a truly barbaric story to be told, but much like Vampi as she walks around dazed and in a fog, the action feels as if it is just going through the motions.
I feel that part of this feeling is the artwork. There are some truly dynamic and horrifying scenes in the first issue, but here it seems more subdued. Artist Michael Sta. Maria (Jirni, Dellec) has experience with both horror and beautiful women. There are panels which grab you, such as when a freshly resurrected Vampirella comes upon her first prey, or when the female rebel encounters a trench coat wearing Vampirella for the first time. Those scenes are visually wonderful and full of story. Others, like the resurrection page, are glossed over like a no-budget horror film. There is a hint of a house style, but unfortunately it is not the house that Dynamite built. Maria is a good artist. He turns in solid work but there are so many little details missing. You get either cheesecake or backgrounds, and lack of depth in those backgrounds hinders the delivery of the cheesecake. Regardless, the art is consistent. It helps deliver the story and a slice sexy. Ultimately, however, I feel a story that deserves to be Dario Argento in scope ends up a little more Ed Wood.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD, BUT SAFE
We are still in the opening act of Vengeance of Vampirella, and this second issue moves us along nicely, if a little blandly. Vampirella may be on a mission of vengeance, but we seem to be waiting for her to wake up to really get started with it. The original series was meant to tell more violent, charged stories, but this issue seems a little more edited for television.
VENGEANCE OF VAMPIRELLA #2 has some good Vampi sequences, and you receive a little more on the state of the world. This might be enough to encourage you to pick up a copy and not break the chain.
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Vengeance of Vampirella #2
Vengeance of Vampirella #2 is good issue that delivers at first, but starts to shake upon more scrutiny.