Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Comics Review: "VAMPIRELLA DRACULA UNHOLY #1" Welcomes You to Castle Dracula


STORY: Christopher Priest
ART: Donny Hadiwidjaja
LETTERS: Willie Schubert
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Shannon Maer; Rose Besch; KyuYong Eom; Adam Hughes; Greg Hildebrandt; Jamie Biggs; Stanley Artgerm; Peach Momoko; Lucio Parrillo; Ani-Mia (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2021)

Rated Teen+

“A Fistful of Dirt”

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.  Dynamite's latest Vampirella comic book series is a follow-up to the recently concluded Vampirella Volume 5 and is entitled Vampirella Dracula Unholy.  The new series is written by Christopher Priest; drawn by Donny Hadiwidjaja; colored by Mohan; and lettered by Willie Schubert.

Vampirella Dracula Unholy Volume 1 #1 (“A Fistful of Dirt”) opens at Castle Bran, Bra┼čov, Romania.  Or does it open at the Howard Johnsons Inn in Sibiu, Romania?  Vampirella has married FBI Agent Mathias “Matt” Ecsed in a “blood rite,” a joining of souls to keep Matt from transforming into Count Dracula/Vlad Drachul.

So the honeymoon begins!  The adventure of several lifetimes begins as Vampirella and Matt journey to Castle Dracula in Transylvania.  It's all part of an attempt to cheat fate by preventing both a high-tech virus and an ancient curse from using Matt's body to resurrect the deadliest threat the world has ever known.  But maybe the castle has other plans.  Meanwhile secrets and mysteries grow around Matt, who may not be nearly as innocent or as straight... as he appears to be.

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 Dracula Unholy.  It is one of many Vampirella comic books that have engaged my imagination these last few months.

Writer Christopher Priest, who wrote the previous Vampirella series, offers a tantalizing first issue.  He does this by starting to deliver on some of the plot threads that he dangled in front of readers over the last several issues of Vampirella Volume 5

I'm not that crazy about the new artist, Donny Hadiwidjaja, but his storytelling is good enough.  In fact, this first issue of Vampirella Dracula Unholy is good enough to make me come back for the second issue.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Vampirella comics will want to read Vampirella Dracula Unholy Volume 1.

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


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