Overview

Vampirella Halloween Quarterly 2008

Review

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Vampirella Halloween Quarterly 2008

Credits

  • Words: Dan Brereton
  • Art: John Heebink
  • Inks: Mike Manley
  • Colors: John Heebink
  • Story Title: Dungeon Eyes
  • Publisher: Harris Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Sep 24, 2008

Vampirella finds herself in a prison for female demons and vampires run by a religious zealot. But what are his true aims?

From Warren Publishing to Harris Comics, Vampirella has appeared in her distinctive, barely-there outfit since 1969. For the Halloween Quarterly, supernatural and horror writer Dan Brereton does a variation on a theme from 70’s B-movie classics – women in prison. Satire? Spoof? Pastiche? Adventure? Try none of the above.

A series of events has led to Vampirella waking up in a place she never thought possible – a prison entirely filled with female demons and vampires. With a religious zealot running the place and his guards ardent followers, Vampirella finds no help there and no quarter from the other inmates – most of whom would be just as happy to end her existence themselves. Despite the hell on the surface, Vampirella also senses that there is a deeper and more twisted purpose behind all of this…

Love her or hate her (costume included), Vampirella has been a cult figure of some repute for well over 30 years now. Writer Dan Brereton is well known for his genre-bending Nocturnals series so it would seem a perfect fit for him to take on Vampirella in the latest quarterly offering – just in time for Halloween. Sadly, however, while Nocturnals was creepy, witty, strange and stylish, this story is just… there. There is little to hate but little to like either. Brereton takes many of the familiar tropes of the exploitation-style "women behind bars" movies and applies them here but he does nothing to give them that extra zing. One would expect more of a supernatural twist since all the inmates are infernal beings but instead he plays it straight and it is neither fun nor really that interesting. Something never quite clicks here – not the threats to Vampi, not the "evil" villain, not even the setting.

The art provided by John Heebink is solid but rather your standard comic book fare with everything looking good but not really standing out. There is nothing here that really hearkens back to an ink-drenched older style, nor anything that challenges new ground with a newer style either. No gothic touches or even an attempt to add a little 70’s flair in order to increase the connection to the B-movie style story.

There are stories that are good, stories that are bad, and stories that just are and the Vampirella Halloween Quarterly falls in the latter category. While fans of the character are likely happy to see her still around after all these years, this is not an issue that is likely to hook new readers and keep them coming back for more.

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