Purgatori #1-- ADVANCE REVIEW


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Purgatori #1-- ADVANCE REVIEW


  • Words: Robert Rodi
  • Art: Cliff Richards
  • Inks: Cliff Richards
  • Colors: Blond
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $2.95
  • Release Date: Oct 26, 2005

Chaos! Comics’ sexy vampiress returns in a series that promises to reveal new chapters of her history.

In ancient Egypt, a rebellious girl flouts her parents’ warnings and repeatedly sneaks out after dark. Flirting shamelessly with boys and blaspheming the gods, the young teen is driving her family to distraction. In an attempt to change her ways, the girl’s mother tells her terrible stories of what can happen to willful children, stories about the wrath of the gods, the danger of nighttime mist, and a blood-hungry demoness known only as the Crimson One.

Having never read a Chaos! Comic, I was unfamiliar with the Purgatori character and unsure what to expect from this issue. To my pleasant surprise, I found this to be an interesting and atmospheric tale. The ancient Egyptian setting provided an element of history and myth to a story that might otherwise have been a fairly by-the-numbers vampire comic. Robert Rodi’s script emphasizes the exotic and legendary qualities of both the title character and the world in which this takes place, giving us a snapshot of what life might have been like for people of this era. The scenes of teenage rebellion and overbearing parents serve to humanize the characters and make sure that the accessibility is not lost amid the high-minded mythical moments.

However, I am slightly concerned that the lead character is still largely a cipher (at least to new readers like me). Though many legends surround her, we are given little in this issue to indicate if she is a compelling enough character to keep the reader around. Next issue promises to reveal her origin so perhaps my fears will be allayed by that.

Cliff Richards does an admirable job illustrating this permutation of Purgatori. Like the script, Richards’ art strikes a balance between a tone of magic and mystery and an easily relatable human story. The facial expressions of the girl and her family lend much to the storytelling and the scene of dancing shadows on the wall is rendered with just the right degree of eerie drama and majesty. The dark and rich colors of Blond also help to maintain this mood throughout the issue. And of course, the lady vampire herself is given a healthy dose of both sex appeal and deadliness. Her barely-there outfit is of the skimpy and fanboy-pandering sort that I’ve never particularly liked but I suppose ancient demons wouldn’t have the same inhibitions as humans. Still, it's a distracting aspect that at times hindered my interest in the character.

While my ignorance of Purgatori herself kept me from fully enjoying this issue, the solid and moody story did achieve one of its goals—it got me intrigued.

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