Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Comics Review: "ELVIRA MEETS VINCENT PRICE #2" is a Delight


STORY: David Avallone
ART: Juan Samu
COLORS: Walter Pereya
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito with Elizabeth Sharland
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Dave Acosta
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Dave Acosta; Juan Samu; Anthony Marques and J. Bone
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated Teen+

Chapter Two: “Ankhs for the Mammaries”

In 1981, actress and model Cassandra Peterson created the “horror hostess character,” known as “Elvira.”  Elvira gradually grew in popularity and eventually became a brand name.  As Elvira, Peterson endorsed many products and became a pitch-woman, appearing in numerous television commercials throughout the 1980s.

Elvira also appeared in comic books, beginning in 1986 with the short-lived series from DC Comics, Elvira's House of Mystery, which ran for eleven issues and one special issue (1987).  Eclipse Comics and Claypool Comics began the long-running Elvira: Mistress of the Dark from 1993 to 2007.  In 2018, Elvira returned to comic books via Dynamite Entertainment in the four-issue comic book miniseries, Elvira Mistress of the Dark, that actually ran for 12 issues.

Vincent Price (1911–1993) was an American actor and a legendary movie star.  Price was and still is best known for his performances in horror films, although his career spanned other genres.  Price appeared in more than 100 films, but he also performed on television, the stage, and on radio.  Thus, he has two stars on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame,” one for motion pictures and one for television.

Elvira and Vincent Price team up for the first time in the comic book miniseries, Elvira Meets Vincent Price.  The series is written by David Avallone; drawn by Juan Samu; colored by Walter Pereyra; and lettered by Taylor Esposito with Elizabeth Sharland.  The series finds Elvira and Price searching for a long-lost cult movie in order to save the world from the wrath of an awakened Egyptian god.

As Elvira Meets Vincent Price #2 opens, Vincent uses his ghostly wiles to save Elvira from a violent servant of Amun-Ra.  That's right.  That is just a taste of the Armageddon to come if Elvira and Vincent don't find the only surviving copy of the lost cult film, “Rise of the Ram.”  Price starred in the doomed, never-seen film, and now, it is time to start finding the rest of his collaborators on the film, who may know something about the whereabouts of Rise of the Ram.

So our heroic duo flies to England to find Richard “Rick” Rogue, the director of “Rise of the Ram,” and his wife, Claudia Antonelli, the Italian starlet who was Vincent's costar in the film.  But Rick and Claudia have their own problems, and Elvira is about to be the unwilling solution.

THE LOWDOWN:  I have been a fan of writer David Avallone's Elvira comic books for a few years now.  Elvira Meets Vincent Price reminds me, if I need a reminder (which I don't), why I love these comic books so much.

After a cool first issue, Avallone delivers a script for the second issue that is so witty and sparkling that I wish I had a 100 pages more of it.  It's like “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” blended with the team of Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard in The Ghost Breakers (1940).

Talented Spanish artist, Juan Samu, who has drawn Marvel Action Black Panther and Transformers comics for IDW Publishing, creates storytelling that practically bleeds charm and coolness.  Samu may be creating the first graphical presentation of supernatural comedy and screwball antics every presented in comic book form.

Walter Pereya's colors capture the sparkle and ghostly chemistry in Avallone's script, while the lettering by Taylor Esposito and Elizabeth Sharland conveys the breezy pace of the story.  I'm having a blast reading Elvira Meets Vincent Price.  It is almost too good to be true how well this crossover works.  And yes, I already want a sequel.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Elvira and of Vincent Price and of David Avallone's Elvira comic books will want to read Elvira Meets Vincent Price.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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