Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Comics Review: "VAMPIRELLA DRACULA UNHOLY #3" is the Best Issue Yet


STORY: Christopher Priest
ART: Donny Hadiwidjaja
LETTERS: Willie Schubert
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Shannon Maer; Rose Besch; Ken Haeser; Zoe Lacchei; Michael Sta. Maria; Jimmy Broxton; Peach Momoko; Lucio Parrillo; Nerdy Nereid (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (February 2022)

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.  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.  The series follows Vampirella and her new husband, FBI Agent Mathias “Matt” Ecsed, who carries the “Dracula virus,” which might allow Dracula to return.

Vampirella Dracula Unholy Volume 1 #3 (“Homeland”) opens in the Bronx, New York home of Detective Joshua Wallace of the NYPD.  He has been investigating Matt for the death of Ray Ford, a corrections officer found dead … with puncture marks on his neck.  So Vampirella pays him a visit for some info.

Then, it's on to Corona, Queens, New York where Matt's mother lives.  It's time for Vampirella to meet her mother-in-law and also Eriq, the man Matt was supposed to marry!  Who's the home wrecker, now?  Meanwhile, the shadow of Dracula looms as the vampire lord asserts himself into assimilating his new human host.

THE LOWDOWN:  In July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Vampirella Dracula Unholy #3.  It is one of many Vampirella comic books that have engaged my imagination these last few months.

Writer Christopher Priest presents his readers with the best issue yet of Vampirella Dracula Unholy.  There is enough good stuff in this third issue to fill two issues.  In this issue's story, “Homeland,” Priest delivers some excellent character drama, especially in the form of confrontations.  There is a lot going on here, and Priest designs all of it to keep our attentions and to keep us coming back for more.

Artist Donny Hadiwidjaja's moody storytelling style and Mohan's shadowy colors make this issue feel like a real horror comic book.  They even make a vampire lord look … quite lordly.  So I am surprised by how good Vampirella Dracula Unholy Volume 1 #3 is and the series as a whole.  There is some good reading here, dear readers.

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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