Overview

Vampirella #1

Review

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Vampirella #1

Credits

  • Words: Eric Trautman
  • Art: Wagner Reis
  • Colors: Inlight Studios
  • Story Title: "Crown of Worms Part One: Red Right Hand"
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Nov 24, 2010

I suppose it’s bad when I prefer a ten year old back-up story over the feature presentation, but disappointment is something I’m getting used to with the last few offerings from Dynamite Entertainment.

Although much hyped in the months leading up to its release, Vampirella #1 fails to impress despite a rich publishing history and a slew of sexy variant covers by some of the best artists in the business. Once again, it’s all about the art of the sell, spectacle over substance, and an unfathomable need to rush to print. Vampirella, like Dynamite’s versions of the Phantom and the Warlord of Mars, suffers from a lack of cohesion and creative vision.

On paper, the creative team should’ve knocked this book out of the park. However, Eric Trautman and Wagner Reis never seem to click. The storytelling is muddy and hard to follow, Reis’ use of odd panel shapes, gobs of shadow, and poorly timed close-ups only hampering Trautman’s already cumbersome script.

The more Reis tried to dazzle me with his jarring angles and moody settings, the more distanced I became from the story and the character. Between trying to figure out the confusing fight sequences and plowing through the dense narration, I felt a little out of breath, not to mention perplexed by the time I turned the final page on Dynamite’s reintroduction of Vampirella.

Turning up in Seattle, Vampirella quickly sets her sights on a large nest of local vampires in her never-ending quest to rid the world of Dracula’s spawn. Although the plot is pretty weak throughout, it was at this particular point I became a little fed up with the story. Never mind the audience is never told when in Vampirella’s long history this tale takes place or to what extent her history is even intact but are you telling me this chick’s been hunting vampires for years and gets ambushed this easily? Whenever a character berates themselves for their over-confidence, I set my sights firmly on the writer. Surely there was a more original way to raise the stakes for a character of Vampirella’s standing?

Although originality isn’t a problem in Jeph Loeb’s and Tim Sale’s touching back-up tale “Looking for Mr. Goodwin”, this gorgeously told bonus story fails to make up for a lackluster feature. What should have been Vampirella’s triumphant return to the shelves, instead reeks of amateurish storytelling, lazy plotting, and another rush job from Dynamite Entertainment, at the expense of the fans.

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