Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Comics Review: "VAMPIRELLA Mindwarp #5" is a Superb Finale


STORY: Jeff Parker
ART: Benjamin Dewey
COLORS: Dearbhla Kelly
LETTERS: Jeff Eckleberry
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Joseph Michael Linsner
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (January 2023)

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.  The latest is Vampirella Mindwarp Volume 1.  This new series is written by Jeff Parker; drawn by Benjamin Dewey; colored by Dearbhla Kelly; and lettered by Jeff Eckleberry.  The series follows a mad chase across time and space, as an aged sorceress tries to steal and inhabit Vampirella's body.

Vampirella Mindwarp Volume 1 #5 (“Ouch”) opens in 1969... because Baroness Liesel Gruzal attempted to possess Vampirella's body.  The result was that Vampirella and the Baroness have been projected back into their bodies in the year 1969.  With her companions:  Ren, now in the body of Pendragon the Great (a popular magician of the 1930s and Vampirella's friend); Adam Van Helsing of those Van Helsings; and Ravashi, the young woman who is a mystic, Vampirella is planning to thwart the Baroness and force her back to the present.

Now, the Baroness is enjoying her past life to the fullest, living it as she didn't the first time around.  But eventually there will be some kind of paradox that will wipe away everything.  Vampirella must convince … or force the Baroness to return to the present.  The problem is that Vampirella is also really enjoying this chance to relive 1969 … and maybe she doesn't want to return, either.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Vampirella Mindwarp Volume 1 #5, which is one of many Dynamite Vampirella comic books I have read.

Vampirella Mindwarp #1 surprised me, so I have been diligently following the series since.  That turns out to be a good idea, as this is the most delightful and playful Vampirella series to date.  Writer Jeff Parker made sure that the issues that followed the first issue lived up to that great opening chapter.  He offered a series of imaginative twists and turns that were not only unexpected, but were also endlessly pleasing to read.  Well, in this fifth issue, that leads to a doozy of a resolution of the conflict between Vampirella and the Baroness.

The team of artist Benjamin Dewey and colorist Dearbhla Kelly deliver an eye-popping pop-art confection over this entire series.  Their work here reminds me of the art of husband-wife art team of Michael and Laura Allred, in terms of graphical style and storytelling substance.  Dewey's strong storytelling and singular visual style are an excellent change of pace to the sameness of superhero comic books.

Vampirella: Mindwarp is humorous, delightful, and mystical … and mind-warping – so to speak.  It should make for an excellent trade paperback collection.

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


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


The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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