Dynamite Entertainment 2018
Written by Erik Burnham
Illustrated by Ediano Silva
Coloured by Dinei Ribeiro
Lettered by Troy Peteri of A Large World Studios’
For centuries, the various tribes of Mars have stood on the doorstep of armed conflict and even global war. Only the spectre of a war without a victor has kept things in check. For centuries, the vampiric people of Drakulon have existed in peace, but now a global catastrophe has taken a massive toll. Spurned by desperation, one woman will attempt a near-impossible feat to save her people, taking her on a collision course with a Princess equally devoted to her populace…
Once upon a time I would have balked at reading this and to be honest I am not even sure why. Perhaps it’s the scantily clad women and the overly sexual nature of the beast as it were. Now I am a much different person and I jump at the opportunity to read a story featuring these two strong, strong willed and even stronger personalities of these women make for some exceptional reading. Also Erik is pretty adept at understanding how these women behave and what kind of expectations the reader might have of them.
I like the way that the book is structured. The opening is precisely what it its supposed to be. As the Astronomers of Helium are going about their daily business and unfortunately what they do doesn’t seem to be much when they stumble upon an incoming ship from space heading for them. Not directly for them but near enough as it’s trajectory is calculated and then it’s time to figure what to do about it. After all they must get to it before the Torquasians do. I have to say the intrigue that is built right off the bat should be more than enough for anyone to want to know and see more.
I must admit that it is nice to see that women regardless of how advanced their civilisation might be are considered to be inferior to the men. Though Dejah Thoris is no man’s fool and I love the dialogue that comes with her and biting tongue. She’s a brilliant woman, a skilled fighter and a force to be reckoned with and she knows it and uses that to her full advantage, though if her grandfather weren’t the Jeddak I wonder if she would as formidable as she is. Still she’s a pistol and I love that about her and her grandfather sees that too and reminds her of it which is fantastic.
The interiors here are simply marvellous to see. The manipulation of the linework through it’s varying weights to create this subtlety that makes the detail pop like it does is stellar work. From the linework in the armour to the way they shape the muscles in the body and how incredibly sexy ever last person we see looks well it’s something that I could stare at for hours. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a strong eye for storytelling. The way backgrounds are utilised expand the story and enhance the moments beautifully. While I do wish that Dejah and her people were more red in nature instead of flesh toned the work that Dinei does with the colouring is still remarkable. The creativity and imagination on display here blows me away.
With some amazing writing, characterisation and story development Erik really goes above and beyond what I could have hoped for or expected. The whole idea and reason why Vampirella arrives on the red planet and what’s still yet to come is going to rock this planet in ways that no one is able to predict. If you aren’t interested in this then your missing out because this is how you tell a strong story using two incredibly powerful women and make it smart, sassy and sensational.