In Review: Legenderry: Vampirella #1

A good debut issue that has the heroine on the hunt for something. Worth checking out.

The covers: Are you holding onto something before I tell you how many covers there are to this premiere? Ready? Twelve. If you’re a Vampirella fan, I wish you luck. That’s a whole lot to track down, and, unfortunately, a lot of them are really good. The A cover is by Joe Benitez with colors by Ivan Nunes. It connects with Legenderry: Red Sonja #1 and Legenderry: Green Hornet #1. Vampirella is wearing a leather red corset with a light red top that has attached puffy shoulders. She also has a black skirt, red stockings, and black leather, high heeled boots. She’s sitting atop a mechanical contraption that Benitez has excelled at creating for the Legenderry covers. This looks great. The B is a “Bombshell” incentive cover by Cedric Poulat with the lead wearing a little more than she did on the A cover, with the addition of an open umbrella. She has one knee raised as she looks to entice the reader. Yeah, I’d call this a “Bombshell” cover. The C is by Sergio Fernandez Davila with colors by Ivan Nunes, and it’s the one I used in this review. It shows Vampy flying in the night sky, accompanied only by a colony of bats and the full moon. Her hair is flying around her head and she looks to be in heaven as she comes in for the kill. Excellent! The D is a black and white version of the C cover, showing all the line work by Davila. Also good. The E is a black and white version of the A, which shows off Benitez’s line work. The F is a rare “Virgin” art cover that is a text free version of the A cover, but it does have all the colors. The G is a rare “Virgin” cover of the B, which also includes the colors. The H is a High-End “Blood Red” Ultra-Limited edition. The art is the same as the D cover, but done in red ink instead of black. Only 50 of these were printed. The I is the High-End “Virgin” art version of the C cover. It’s colored, but textless. The J is a ComicsPRO Exclusive cover, just like the E but done in red ink instead of black. The K is an exclusive cover for Box of Dread. It’s drawn by Roberto Castro with the colors by Vinicius Andrade. It shows Vampirella in her clothes from the A cover watching in wonder/fear as a greenish spirit emerges from a wooden crate. Very nice. The L cover is an exclusive cover for Cards, Comics, and Collectibles with art by Aneke with colors by Valentina Pinto. This connects with covers, created by the same duo, from Legenderry: Red Sonja #1 and Legenderry: Green Hornet #1. Wearing the same clothes from the A cover, Vampirella stands haughtily atop a building, complete with night time skyline and pointy rooftop design. I like her face on this. Overall grades: A A, B A+, C A, D B, E B, F A, G A+, H B, I A, J B, K A, and L A- 

The story: A tremendous dirigible is coming in for a landing. Aboard it are the rich and powerful, including Vampirella who is enduring the poisonous comments of its passengers about the “freaks and criminals” that won the war, though they should be shipped off to the Monstrous Lands. Standing atop the building, she sets her sights on her destination. She takes a hansom to the boarded up police headquarters. The boards hindering her entrance proclaim “Closed by the Order of the Citizens for Decency.” She breaks the doors open and enters. Meanwhile, across town, another person who was on the same dirigible has arrived at his location. “Long Night’s Journey Into Day” by David Avallone is a good introduction to the Legenderry universe if a reader happened to miss the mini-series. Vampirella is really nice written. She doesn’t speak until Page 8, and even then it’s only one word. Avallone has to write out his script so well that artist Cabrera knows exactly how she should look. It’s always impressive when writers can do this well. A silent character has got to be difficult for a writer to have in a comic, let alone the title character. The identify of the character that comes to forefront on Page 5 might be unknown to readers–I won’t say who it is–but a little more would have been helpful to new readers. The group shown on Page 6 is terrific and I love their interplay with the new character. Once this character and group are established, it’s back to Vampirella for some payback and it’s good. She’s been nothing but human for the first eleven pages, but on Page 12 she shows her true colors. This is a nice action sequence and sets up who she’ll be looking for next. Good introductory installment. Overall grade: A

The art: A Steampunk story has got to have elaborate artwork that combines turn of the century technology with Victorian clothing. If it’s not detailed enough it will be forgotten quickly. David T. Cabrera does a really good job on this book. He begins in stunning fashion with a highly detailed blimp arriving among the skyscrapers that make up Big City. The view within the passenger compartment is also very well done, introducing Vampirella in the typical Steampunk tiny women’s top hat, as well as the mysterious stranger whom she doesn’t know. Page 2 is a huge close-up of Vampy that clearly shows the emotion within her silent form. It also has several throwaway characters drawn nicely to show the prejudice she and her peers will endure. There are several action scenes involving the clones from Legenderry and they continue to look good. They are the stormtroopers of this universe and are instantly identifiable by their garb. The highlight of the book is Vampirella’s search for an individual within a mansion. It’s a well choreographed fight that goes through many rooms, with lots of damage, and graphic casualties. What’s really striking is the look of joy on her face as she endures her attackers. This shows her to be one who thrives on the violence, and her supernatural abilities are shown very clearly. Cabrera does a good job creating characters in this lush environment. Overall grade: A

The colors: The colors must also be lavish to create a believable Steampunk setting, and Robby Bevard shows he’s more than up to the task on the opening page. Royal purple is used for the dirigible’s skin and gold is used for the passenger area. Red carpet lines the cabin, completing the first setting. The Big City is also very impressive on this page, with them being colored–and some lit–all the way down the page in the gutter of the book. This is a really nice touch. A light rust and white background is used behind Vampirella on Page 2, making the image instantly aged. The colors pop out in bright colors and the coloring used for the weapon on Page 12 is really well done. It makes the moment even more startling and is a good lead in to its violent results. Bevard is good. Overall grade: A

The letters: Transmission, dialogue, opening title, sounds, scene settings, and a question yelled all hail from Dave Lanphear. All look fine, but the sounds of the weapon from 12 and the yelled question steal the scenes. The yelled question is especially humorous in the font that Lanphear uses. Overall grade: A

The final line: A good debut issue that has the heroine on the hunt for something. Worth checking out. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
    One Comment
  • wismael
    30 August 2015 at 4:15 pm -

    Much much better than red sonja legenderry

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