Dynamite Entertainment 2020
Written by Bill Willingham
Illustrated by Giuseppe Cafaro
Lettered by Carlos M. Mangual
Does Vampirella have a soul? That is the question being asked by an immortal wizard-king who has come to determine her fate. If she does, she will be spared. If not, he must destroy her. No matter how charming he finds her…
So this is one of the most intriguing Vampirella stories I have read yet. For the longest time I avoided reading her stories because of her outfit, if I am being honest, I felt this was for those boys who lived in the mother’s basements if you know what I mean. I mean I was just a young gay guy who didn’t really know any better and it’s taken me years now to try and play catch up on all the wonderful stories I have missed. I am glad I am here now because it’s stories such as this one that demonstrate the kind of person she is and how relevant this is to life in our world.
I love the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is beautifully presented. I mean right from the get-go we see things happen and it’s nearly one thing after another that makes this feel so damn exciting. The character development we see is utterly sensational! The dialogue and conversation that John and Vampirella have with one another is just mind boggling to me in the sense that in this day and age people actually think and feel this way. Who gives anyone the right to say someone is or isn’t and then feel justified in taking action against them? Sigh at least in comics folks like John can be more than they appear but really any religion that thinks they are god is sorely mistaken. The pacing is perfect and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of this story it’s easy to see how everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow.
The way we see this structured and how the layers within the story play out brings out so many different feelings and emotions within the reader. It is a powerful thing to be able to bring this level of intensity out in your readers’ through showcasing the actions of others who may or may not represent our beliefs.
The interiors here are gorgeous. That opening page reminds me of the apartment I had in Chicago, which I sorely miss even with the El right off my back porch so close I felt I could touch it. The linework is fabulous, it brings us this traditional comic book style look, tone and feel to what we see and is able to bring out this marvellous attention to detail. The faces and facial expressions enhance the characterisation and the creativity and imagination we see is superb as it brings some of the creatures to life. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a very talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is wonderfully done and how we see the hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show a very solid eye for how colour works.
I will say this, for anyone who has ever thought that Vamipirella isn’t for me or has some preconceived notion about her then I want to pick this one-shot up. You’ll see there is far more to her than meets the eye and she’s much deeper than that slinky little red number she barely wears. This is a strong, powerful and usually confident woman on a world she wasn’t born on and is just trying to live the best life she can. Sound familiar? I should think so.