Writer: Kristina Deak-Linsner
Artwork: Joseph Michael Linsner
Colours: Ceci De La Cruz
Lettering: Jeff Eckleberry
Release Date: 27th June 2018
This first issue of Roses for the Dead pre-dates the events of Vampirella Volume 4. That’s the first problem. If you haven’t read Vampirella Volume 3 or Volume 4 then this is not a good jumping on point. The second problem is that Vampirella has never really worked well in the single issue format. You really need a graphic novel to show off Vampi’s assets properly.
I like Vampirella. As a teenage boy Vampi was often on my reading list and she has remained so into my mid-forties. Vampirella has long been known for campy stories and a gratuitous use of cleavage and ass shots to sell issues so it’s easy just to look at a front cover of Vampirella and think “hmmm… semi naked vampire goddess, that’ll do me”, but people forget the names that have been associated with writing her over the years – Morrison, Milllar, Ellis, Moore, Loeb to name a few. There have been some great and powerful Vampirella stories in the past, but I’m not sure that this will become one of them in years to come.
Whilst it’s sometimes difficult to get a feel for a story from the first issue, this didn’t grab me at all. The dialogue is stilted and the plot progression is all over the place. From what I could make out there might be an interesting story in here, but I get the feeling that it’s not going to be well developed by this team. I would expect in this day and age for Vampi to be written with a bit more depth. What we get however, is a very one-dimensional representation of her and yet another origin story recap of the Drakulon version of Vampirella mixed with a team-up with a witch who is very obviously of the ‘Ann Summers Halloween costume’ variety.
The artwork is ok, it’s not fantastic and the only area where any real care seems to have been taken is in Vampi herself. The scenery and other characters haven’t received the same care and attention and the whole feel is that it’s been quite lazily generated on a CGI package.
This issue delivers neither the depth of writing to make it a classic horror comic nor sufficient campiness to make it fun. I think I would have still given it a decent score if the artwork had been any good but it just didn’t feel like Joseph Michael Linsner has any great feelings for what he’s illustrating.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Alex Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek