The covers: A trio of covers to take to your tomb for safe keeping for this seventeen page “introductory priced issue!” of twenty-five cents. The A cover is illustrated and colored by Philip Tan. This is a sweet image of the title character falling through space, her shredded clothes seeming to peel off her. Bats fly about her as she looks at the reader, acknowledging him or her with a gesture of her right hand. This is awesome and definitely print worthy, and I see that it is available as an unsigned, signed, and signed and remarked print on Dynamite’s website. The B cover is a “Sneak Peek” cover illustrated and colored by Joseph Michael Linsner. Vampirella is close to the reader, her teeth together as she emits a hiss, while red light steams out of her eyes. This is a powerful image that’s wonderfully set off by the orange background. The final cover, the C, is also a “Sneak Peek” drawn and colored by J. Scott Campbell. This is a bust shot, no pun intended, of Vampirella, who is looking seductively at the reader with her head slightly tilted. This is primarily in reds, which looks fine, but I would prefer to see this in more traditional colors. Overall grades: A A, B A, and C B-
The story: “The Future. The wild country of paradise.” Three people are making their way in a snowstorm. The woman seems dressed inappropriately for the snow, while the men don’t. Both males carry huge rifles. One man needs a moment to catch his breath, but is urged on by the other, “No, you do not stop here! Not where they could still see us!” The men argue and begin to wrestle over one of the guns, but are stopped by the woman who says, “…we are the ones who are actually going to finally do it. Okay? We are the first ones with a solution. We are going to plant a snake…” They find what they’re looking for, just as their pursuers are shown. Writer Paul Cornell sets up many questions that aren’t answered in this issue, top among them being why these three are on this quest. The title character does appear, in a surprising way, and an acknowledgment is given to her previous origins over the years. Which is correct is left dangling, because she has business which will begin in the first issue of this series. This was fun and created many questions that I’d like answered. I’m a Vampirella fan, so I’ll definitely check the series out. A special shout out must be given to Cornell for the text at the bottom of each page which was joyously old school. Overall grade: A-
The art: Jimmy Broxton is the artist and colorist of this book and it looks like something out of the original magazine run of this character. The art is minimal to focus on the characters, who look as though they came out of a late 60s early 70s Warren book. One man has a Moebius inspired hat and it was great. The arrival of the horde after them was slick in that it teased what they were but did not directly show them. Where two of the characters go is really well done, as it’s very different from the opening setting. The work with highlights on 8 – 10 is terrific, coming off as photorealistic. Vampirella’s first appearance on 9 is a shocker, and her actually entrance on 11 creates some slick movement. I was very happy to see the title character living up to her vampiric heritage at the bottom of 13. Page 15 is a really cool collection of images that give several of her origins, including her last incarnation at Dynamite Comics. The final page is a full page splash that shows the anti-hero ready to take on the world, with her having a super expression on her face. The colors are really muted on this book, echoing the look of the old black and white magazines. This was neat for nostalgia’s sake, but brighter colors would have made this a much more vivid experience. Overall grade: B-
The letters: Continuing his winning streak is Travis Lanham. He creates narration and dialogue (the same font), sounds, yells, and the spectacular text at the bottom of each page. I prefer to have narration and dialogue be two different fonts in books, as it’s two different forms of communication. However, I can let that slide for what he does at the bottom of each page. I’m old to remember the Warren magazines and this took me back to that time right out of the gate. I LOVED the look of that font and I hope it appears in the regular series. Overall grade: A-
The final line: Many unanswered questions, cool retro visuals, and a price that cannot be beat make this a book to find. I’m on board for the regular series, Dynamite. Give me more! And do more “introductory priced” issues for other series! Overall grade: B+
To purchase a print copy of this book go to http://www.dynamite.com/htmlfiles/viewProduct.html?PRO=C72513025568600011
To purchase a digital copy of this book go to http://www.dynamite.com/digital/viewProduct.html?PRO=C72513025568600011=1
NOTE: Dynamite is offering the digital version of this book from their website for free! If you use the link above, you can read the issue at no cost. This is the way to get fans interested in a new series!