Thursday, June 30, 2022

Comics Review: "VAMPIVERSE PRESENTS: The Vamp #1" is a Hot One Shot


STORY: Thomas Sniegoski and Jeannine Acheson
ART: Daniel Maine
COLORS: Francesca Cittarelli
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Matt Idelson
COVER: Jimmy Broxton
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: German Garcia; Daniel Maine; Ariel Diaz; Marco Turini; Sun Khamunaki; Jimmy Broxton; Rachel Hollon and David Turner (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (June 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.  In 2010, Dynamite Entertainment obtained the character and has been publishing new Vampirella material since then.

One of Dynamite's previous Vampirella comic book miniseries was Vampiverse.  The series and its creative team return in Vampiverse Presents: The Vamp #1 One Shot.  It is written by Thomas Sniegoski and Jeannine Acheson; drawn by Daniel Maine; colored by Francesca Cittarelli; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.  This one-shot focuses on a version of Vampirella that is a pulp-style hero in the vein of The Shadow.

Vampiverse Presents: The Vamp #1 One Shot opens in Salem City, specifically in Blaylock Tower.  The Vamp is extracting information about “the Cult of Chaos” in her own unique way.  In order to stop the cult, she must have the final fragment of “the Blade of Illumination.”

The Vamp's mission will take her to her secret monastery nestled in the Himalayas and to Castle Intuneric in Romania where she will face her most diabolical enemy, De Haven.  As he prepares for “the Rite of Regenesis” to welcome the Lords of Chaos, The Vamp tries to head off disaster.  This is a story of action and adventure featuring villains, Yetis, werewolves, ancient relics, mystical cults, old gods, and exotic locales, and we learn the origin of The Vamp.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, the marketing department at Dynamite Entertainment has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Vampiverse Presents: The Vamp #1 One Shot, one of many Vampirella titles I have read.

With each of Vampiverse's six issues, Thomas Sniegoski and Jeannine Acheson managed to make the series ever more enjoyable.  One of the miniseries' more intriguing characters was The Vamp, a pulp-style, gun-toting hero in the vein of Street and Smith Publication's pulp magazine hero, The Shadow, as written by Walter Gibson.

In Vampiverse Presents: The Vamp #1 One Shot, Sneigoski and Acheson present a 1930's style pulp action-adventure yarn.  It has a bit of everything 1930s and 40s: B-movie serials, H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow, a setting in the Himalayas, and “lost world” fiction.  This comic book even looks like modern storytelling set in the 1930s, such as the films Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Artist Daniel Maine and colorist Francesca Cittarelli come to together for some rousing storytelling and even manage to recall the design and aesthetic of the late comic book writer-artist, Dave Stevens, who plumped the golden age of pulp in this beloved comic book, The Rocketeer.  Letterer Taylor Esposito creates a kind of movie theater sound with his lively lettering, transporting the reader to adventure.

In my review of Vampiverse #6, I wrote that I hoped something like it would appear again, and I got it with Vampiverse Presents: The Vamp #1 One Shot.  I hope that The Vamp returns in another one-shot comic book, or dare I wish for an entire miniseries?

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Vampirella comics will want to read Vampiverse Presents: The Vamp #1 One Shot.

[This comic book includes “Dynamite Dispatch” June 2022, which features an interview with writer Christopher Priest.]


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

The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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