I can’t believe I’m saying this but as of right now one of the launches in 2014 that I’m most excited about is an aged property. She’s been around for awhile but Vampirella returns to your local comic shop in June!
The official description for Vampirella #1 from Dynamite Entertainment:
In FEAST OF SHADOWS, the first in the six-part OUR LADY OF SHADOWS story arc. Vampirella is sent by the Vatican to investigate the kidnapping of a little girl by Ethan Shroud and the Chaos cultists, only to become the centerpiece of a ritual invoking Lady Umbra, the sister-bride of Chaos, that leaves her marked as a living sacrifice to the dark goddess who rules the shadows. VAMPIRELLA is back and returns to her horror roots with Bram Stoker Award-winning author Nancy A. Collins (Swamp Thing, Sunglasses After Dark, Jason vs. Leatherface) and Patrick Berkenkotter (Avengers/Invaders, Red Sonja).
I’M EXCITED. I CAN’T HELP IT.
As a fan I think we have a rock solid creative team that’s going to push the storied protagonist in ways we haven’t seen before. And as a reviewer I can’t wait to get in there and critique what they do with the time they’ve been given. The opening arc already has a lot of promise, with supernatural intrigue, the Vatican, a Chaos cult with a classic mystery spin that’s going to get excitement from even the most discerning among an already dedicated audience.
NANCY A. COLLINS
The talent has a tough job ahead of her. She’s going to take on a character that looks laughable while bringing her to a point where she not only embodies the best of her past but the core mechanics of the modern age. It’s a balancing act, but I’ve read some of her work and I think that the choice of this author was simply perfect because she’s going to sell the fact that not all heroes wear spandex. Some of them dress in practically nothing and manage to take down evil with a personality to boot!
This new volume had me at the illustrator. The man contributed to what’s easily one of my favorite crossover minis from the last decade, Avengers/Invaders. Maybe it had a lot to do with the aftermath of Civil War, but I felt like the renditions offered up by this talent fit the era as a soft but detailed palette grew what we knew while embracing the zany environment that brought this whole mess together. In short: his art is sturdy, pleasing and should be up to snuff to move this legacy forward.
MORE THAN T & A
It’s time to get past the fact that we’re dealing with a protagonist that’s exists as an exploitative piece of fantasy fiction. She’s gorgeous, fierce, and I have no idea how she keeps her assets in place while fighting demons, angels and monsters. But beneath the superficial she’s a heroine that’s worth rooting for! And given the right scribe behind her the amount of depth and humanization of this particular warrioress could be just as compelling as the latest volume of Red Sonja.
A recent example came from Vampirella: Southern Gothic, an off shoot title that took our protagonist out of her usual stomping grounds and gave her some personal obstacles to overcome. Don’t worry she still fought but with a decent set of reasons to do so.
The last volume had its share of ups and downs but the single most important thing was the fact that the final issue, more or less, cleaned the slate for a new team. Which means that the upcoming writer and illustrator have plenty of room to do their thing.
Although I do hope they revisit some of the prior shenanigans down the road.
I’ll admit that until I started reviewing the scarlet clad heroine for Unleash The Fanboy I had literally no opinion on the character. I knew there was a following for this particular vampire but I just didn’t get it. Even so I cracked open a few of her comics and it didn’t take long for me to become a fan as well.
And I can’t wait for Vampirella to return!