Review – Vampirella #5 (Dynamite)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Eman Casallos
Release Date: 6th July, 2016

This is the concluding issue of a five-part story which sees our heroine in the city of (fallen) angels a in battle against an ancient evil going by the name of Slade.

It brings the assembled cast of this tale together for an almighty Royal Rumble. There are no great plot twists to keep up with here as this final issue is centered solely around this arc’s last conflict, which, if I’m honest, I can fully appreciate. I’m not a great fan of books which feel they have to cram a synopsis of the story in the first few pages, then rush through the ‘epic’ battle so they can spend the last 3rd of the book tying a nice little bow on everything.

Kate Leth has taken the time to expand upon the battle itself and let the reader enjoy the carnage. She relies on not only the reader having followed the previous four issues but also knowing the history of the character, and, sadly for me, this is where I have a problem.

I have been reading Vampirella for a quite few years and this latest version of the ultimate bad girl vamp is a far cry from Forrest Ackerman and Trina Robbins’ original character. I find Leth’s version of the character a bit diluted to that of the alien vampire from the planet Drakulon who is devoted to exterminating evil from this planet.

This new account of the character is almost a pre-watershed Vampirella, something I feel is best illustrated by the new costume that she wears; it’s more of a uniform than the ‘classic’ almost-not-there outfit she used to wear (before anyone says I’m being sexist, remember that the original illustrator was a woman). The classic costume highlighted that bad girl rebel attitude which, if I’m honest is notably absent in this book, and she comes across more like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ than a bad-ass female ‘Blade’.

The writing is otherwise solid though, and Kate Leth does a great job (even if it’s not necessarily to my taste) of keeping the story tight and fast paced. The action sequences are well written and Eman Casallos’ artwork is on point, giving colour and depth to the book. It just doesn’t feel like the Vampirella I know and love.

Rating: 2/5.

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The writer of this piece was: John Patterson
John Tweets from @jpeg37


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