Publisher: Dynamite Comics ©2017
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist & Colorist: Jimmy Broxton
Letterers: Travis Lanham & Jimmy Broxton
Vampirella is a recent series from Dynamite Comics where Vampirella wakes up after a 3,000 year sleep to a completely different future. Her friend knows of a few cities and countries like London, Russia, America slightly and Canada, a barren waste land. Safe to say, it is sort of the post-apocalyptic future and right now Vampirella’s powers aren’t functioning properly. Vampirella and her friend get caught up in basically a concentration camp by basically Nazis and their commandant into labor or being forced into becoming clowns. Yeah, right there this story gets a bit off. Does the issue take a plunge to goofiness and camp? Not at all, there is some humor, dark humor I would argue with the escape attempts and it seems there are some tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendos about to. For example, our almost S&M inspired Nazi commandant. However, the story never seems thoroughly explained. It is also intriguing in there is little narration except for by the bottom of each page in gothic yet degraded red lettering, done well by Lanham and Broxton. Cornell took a bold choice here to not let us into the head of our main character. It does make for a clearer read to some degree not always dealing with thought balloons and inner monologues. At the same time I feel we don’t get too know much about Vampirella and the placement can be bad. She starts a sentence at the last panel, narration for one sentence, and then finishes the spoken sentence on the next page. The placement here makes the reading a bit hard to follow, where I find myself having to back and reread them separately. Meanwhile Broxton’s art is great and a nice break from the usual. The women are not scantily clad and over sexualized. In fact, they look like normal people for the most part. Everything has a gritty look to it too, there is no beauty as this is harsh world with disgusting blood not hyper-stylistic pools and splashes of crimson. Then the red and black make the action and murder scenes speak for themselves. This approach to the art and color feels like a mix of indusrial and gothic, leaving no room for glamor like traditional comics. However, detail on some items in panels can be underdeveloped such as people in the background or when the focal point of a panel is never on a person.
Not a bad issue, just hope there is more pay-off and explaining in the following issue where we can find out if this is indeed camp or some kind of satire.
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