Friday, September 17, 2021

Comics Review: VAMPIRELLA VOLUME 5 #23


STORY: Christopher Priest
ART: Ergün Gündüz; Chris Graves
LETTERS: Willie Schubert
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Marco Mastrazzo; Shannon Maer; Warren Louw; RB White, Roberto Castro; Lucio Parrillo; Shannon Maer; Lorraine (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2021)

Rated Teen+

“The Red Mass” Book 2: “The Bridegroom”

Vampirella is a vampire and female superhero created by the late author and science fiction and horror expert, Forrest J Ackerman, and designed by comic book artist, Trina Robbins.  Vampirella first appeared in Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969), the debut issue of a black and white horror comics magazine from Warren Publishing.  Writer-editor Archie Goodwin changed the character from a hostess of horror comics to a leading character in her own stories.

Vampirella publications were published by Warren into 1983, and after Warren's bankruptcy, Harris Publications obtained the character and published new and reprint Vampirella comic books into the mid-1990s.  In 2010, Dynamite Entertainment obtained the character and has been publishing new Vampirella material since then.

Dynamite's flagship Vampirella comic book series, simply entitled Vampirella, is now in its fifth volume.  Vampirella Volume 5 is written by Christopher Priest; drawn by Ergun Gunduz (and Chris Graves); colored by Mohan; and lettered by Willie Schubert.  The series focuses on a reborn Vampirella who fights the forces of chaos to save humanity.

As Vampirella Volume 5 #23 (“The Bridegroom”) opens, FBI Agent Matt Ecsed cannot understand why he pees himself every time he looks at Madonna and Child with St. Anne (Dei Palafrenieri), a religious painting by the Italian Baroque master, Caravaggio (1571-1610).  And his psychiatrist can offer only smart attitude instead of smart answers.  Plus, Shane a.k.a. “the First Man” wants to kill him.  What the hell?!

Once again, it's Vampirella to the rescue.  Once again?  It seems that Matt met Vampirella in the distant past when he was an orphan … thought to carry “the Dracula Virus.”  And half the world wanted to worship him and the other half wanted him dead – still wants him dead.

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Vampirella Volume 5 #23.  It is not only the second issue of this series that I have read.

Issue #22 intrigued me mainly because I am a fan of writer Christopher Priest.  I found issue #23 to be more consistent in the flow of the narrative and less all over the place.  It's funny and deranged, and Priest shows off his gift for sharp dialogue.  He also provides a clear line of conflict, a who versus whom that allows the reader to get into the drama.

Two artists draw this issue.  Series regular Ergun Gunduz draws the story set in the present, while Chris Graves tackles the past, specifically the first time that Vampirella meets Matt Ecsed.  I like Ergun's clean line work which fits Priest's witty and humor.  Graves' art is not as refined, but his storytelling, while also a little raw, does convey the story.

Considering the cliffhanger, I am ready for issue #24, which is just around the corner, as of this writing.  I hope Vampirella keeps it popping.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Vampirella comics will want to read Vampirella Volume 5.

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

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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