The GeeksverseVampirella #1

Vampirella #1
Published on Saturday, November 27, 2010 by

Published by: Dynamite Entertainment
Written by: Eric Trautmann
Illustrated by: Wagner Reis
Lettered by: Marshall Dillon
Colored by: Inlight Studio
Editor: Joseph Rybandt
Covers: A- J. Scott Campbell; B- Alex Ross; C- Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic; D- Joe Maduriera; E- Alex Ross

Vampirella returns to comics courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment. They leave it open on which origin they are using, if any of those. The opening text piece hints at all the various origins, so it’s hard to tell if this is going to be a continuation of a previous continuity or something new.

Vampirella is sometimes known as the original “bad girl”, referring to that sub-genre of comics where the stories are about scantily clad women doing alot of fighting and not much else. A plus in Dynamite’s favor is that Vampirella’s costume does not appear in the story at all. She’s shown wearing a full length leather coat, pants and a red blouse. The only hint of her old costume is the necklace she wears, which is the emblem that was on her belt.

This is a good move as they are saying they want to get away from the straight bad girl image and so there’s more to the character then just the outfit, which is what everyone immediately thinks of when they hear Vampirella.

The story is about her hunting Vlad Dracul. No origins are given to how he became a vampire or how she did. It’s right to the action as she fights street thugs, new-born vamps and then more vamps in a nightclub.

Trautmann’s Vampirella is wordy, very word. Almost too wordy. She’s very descriptive. It’s hard to see how she’d be able to get all these thoughts out in the middle of a fight. And not much is giving in the way of personality. We’re not really told why she’s hunting other vampires, why she’s hunting Dracul or even how she came to be in this particular city. We’re given some vague hints about a mortal lover that died, but that is it.

As a first issue it seems more like a second issue. There could have been an issue’s worth of set-up prior to the events in this story that wouldn’t have harmed it at all. The biggest thing missing is any kind of a “why”.

Reis’ art reminds me of Jackson Guice (now going by Butch Guice). The last page especially invokes Guice with the introduction of Le Fanu. Reis doesn’t use standard panel layouts and he does it to great effect. The story still flows smoothly, but the different layouts help propel it along and strengthen the action.

This is Vampirella after all, one of the “hottest” comic characters, so it would be a requiste that any artist that tackles her be able to draw beautiful women. And Reis is up to the task. He doesn’t go for any unnecessary cheesecake shots, but his women are still attractive and sexy.

Vampirella #1 receives
3 out of 5

Good looking book, but a bit too wordy and not enough set-up for a first issue.

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