Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by Pat Shand
Illustrated by Vincenzo Riccardi
Coloured by Eleonora Bruni
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Angelica has formed an uneasy alliance with Olaf and his gang of vampires after discovering that they are both plagued by a shared enemy: her father, Hades. Meanwhile, Helsing and Marian split up in attempt to find answers about angelica’s monstrous condition.
What Pat has done and is doing for the Zenescope Universe is utterly fascinating. Hades was introduced and could’ve been a two-bit distraction and ultimately fodder for any number of the beings in this universe but Pat saw his potential and made him Liesel’s boyfriend. Thanks to that act Marian used her powers to interrupt a spell and bring his daughter back from the dead. Yes it went horribly wrong and she’s a primordial type vampire now, but Dracula is dead (again) and nature, regardless of its alignment, hates a vacuum. Suddenly there are power players galore running around peppering the landscape with unlimited potential.
Next issue wraps up this arc but for now we see how Angelica, lost, alone and confused is easily swayed by a slick talking long lived cockroach of a vampire. Thanks to Marian she has recovered some memories, not all of which are bad and paint her father in a bad light, leaving room for her to possibly overcome where she’s at and choose her own new future. This kind of characterization is deliciously delightful. It’s also complex and full of surprises and this is why Pat’s been emerging as one of the industry’s top lesser known writers.
It’s not just those with powers from darkness that we’re introduced to either, Sam’s coven and this Ms. Weird are forces of good in the world. Weird though is like this combination of Dazzler and Jem wrapped up in white magic and quite powerfully so. I’m loving her so far and honestly she’s the kind of character that would well suited to pop up in the line of Zenescope books when someone needs magical help. Kind of like the Madame Xanadu of the Zenescope Universe.
Vincenzo’s interiors here have been gotten so much stronger with each issue. It’s like he’s finding his groove with these characters and their best attributes and personality with each passing page and panel. The flow is wonderful his use of pages, panels, angles and perspective really pack a nice punch. The use of backgrounds are well utilized. Also his ability to create beautiful yet deadly looking people is a sheer delight to see. Plus the little girl vampire god more of her please that goth look on her is ultra serious badassdom.
I do like that these characters are strong, accomplished and capable. Easily scary and effective enough on their own but when they get together the bad guys really do need to shaking in their boots. Also the message of friendship and commitment to that friendship shouldn’t be discounted or overlooked throughout all the action, drama and atrocities they try to create.
Zenescope’s newest direction of this strong story filled with impressive interiors really have made them one to look out for.