Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Comics Review: "VAMPIRELLA Holiday Special 2021" Will Stuff Your Stockings


STORY: Will Robson; Vincenzo Federici; Vincenzo Carratu
ART: Will Robson; Vincenzo Federici; Vincenzo Carratu
COLORS: Andrew Dalhouse; Matt Herms; Kike J. Diaz
LETTERS: Jeff Eckleberry
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Joseph Michael Linsner
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Will Robson; Joseph Michael Linsner; Rachel Hollon (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2021)

Rated Teen+

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.

In 2010, Dynamite Entertainment obtained the character and has been publishing new Vampirella material since then.  One of Dynamite's titles is the Vampirella Holiday Special, an anthology, holiday-themed comic book.

Vampirella Holiday Special 2021 Volume 5 features three short stories.  The first story is “The Fright Before Christmas,” which is written and drawn by Will Robson and colored by Andrew Dalhouse.  The second story is “Vampire Bells,” which is written and drawn by Vincenzo Federici and colored by Matt Herms.  The final story is “Sleigh,” which is written and drawn by Vencenzo Carratu and colored by Kike J. Diaz.  All three stories are lettered by Jeff Eckleberry.

THE LOWDOWN:  I will summarize and review each story one at a time:

“The Fright Before Christmas,” by Will Robson and Andrew Dalhouse:

Every year, there is the annual hunting trip known as the “Christmas Eve Gala of the Occult.”  Three different hunters who call themselves “The Spirits of Christmas” hunt a mythical, paranormal, or supernatural creature.  This year, the gala's grand prize is Vampirella, but the hunters are about to find out that Vampirella isn't just any old kind of hunting game.

“The Fright Before Christmas” is the longest story of the three, clocking in at 20 pages.  It is a truly great story with every page filled with Robson's beautiful, Arthur Adams-inspired art.  Andrew Dalhouse's colors make this tale shine like Christmas lights.

“Vampire Bells” by Vincenzo Federici and Matt Herms:

In Hong Kong for Christmas, Vampirella can't celebrate if she has to battle a kaiju.  “Vampire Bells” is a four-pager with nice art and coloring, and I have nothing else to say about it.

“Sleigh” by Vencenzo Carratu and Kike J. Diaz:

After a meal of reindeer, Vampirella happens upon a fight between Christmas figures of lore.  So what if the night before Christmas, it had to be Vampirella?

“Sleigh” is also a four-page story, but it delights me far more than “Vampire Bells.”  It is such a novel and clever spin on Christmas that I won't spoil it.  I will say, however, that it may be the most Christmas-inspired tale of the three.

So, instead of picking a favorite, I will say that Vampire Bells is my least favorite of the three – not that it is bad.  It simply does not capture my imagination anywhere near as much as “The Fright Before Christmas” and “Sleigh” do.  Vampirella Holiday Special 2021 is an excellent holiday comic book.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Vampirella comics will want to read Vampirella Holiday Special 2021.


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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