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"Vampirella #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Dynamite Entertainment


Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Ergun Gunduz
Lettered by Willie Schubert
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 17th, 2019


To celebrate Vampirella's 50th anniversary, Dynamite Entertainment has relaunched her series once again. It's clear the publisher is pulling out all the stops for this with a big, bold stance, questioning the very reality of the character and who she is. When she's the only survivor of a horrific plane crash, she sees a therapist for the trauma who refuses to believe she's a vampire from another planet. Is she out of her mind? Or is she the only one capable of stopping the evil that's approaching?

I love the delivery and pacing of Vampirella #1. Writer Christopher Priest captures the terror of the plane crash in small doses, interspersed with the therapy session in the present. We focus in on key details that would stand out in hindsight as Vampi is remembering this terrifying scene and her involvement in it. This reminds me a bit of Lost without all the convoluted backstory and number nonsense.

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This makes Vampirella's fall and subsequent rise all the more interesting as it's narrated by this therapy session. This provides an intriguing look at the character and what makes her tick. It pulls on her doubts and insecurities while also showing the strength she possesses and wields with confidence.

Letterer Willie Schubert breaks up this narration between Vampirella's words, shown in blood red caption boxes that look splattered on the page, and the more stoic, calmer speech of the therapist shown in a steady font and a dark grey background. It serves to remind us of the monster lurking within.

Click images to enlarge

It helps that Ergun Gunduz is such a brilliant artist, carefully crafting each scene to deliver the most intensity and emotion. Vampi mostly maintains a calm demeanor, but when she encounters an immortal monster on the plane, the claws – or rather fangs – come out, forcing her to fight for her life. This struggle builds as the plane is falling apart all around them until we get one of many gorgeous full-page spreads showing Vampirella in all her glory, transformed into the ferocious vampire heroine we've known for fifty years. Huge leathery wings propel her into the air with poise and precision.

Vampirella #1 reads like a great mystery as we slowly put the pieces together that would cause such a tragedy. It ends with quite a cliffhanger that will leave you with some questions and begging for more story. I feel like there's a lot more to each image than is immediately apparent, like the details on every page are going to play a role later on, lending itself to future readings.


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Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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