Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Comics Review: "ELVIRA in Monsterland Volume 1 #1" - B*tch Better Have My Vampire


STORY: David Avallone
ART: Kewber Baal
COLORS: Walter Pereya
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Dave Acosta with Walter Pereya
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (May 2023)

Rated Teen+

Chapter One: “It's a Vlad, Vlad, Vlad, Vlad World”

In 1981, actress and model Cassandra Peterson created the “horror hostess character,” known as “Elvira.”  Elvira gradually grew in popularity and eventually became a brand name.  As Elvira, Peterson endorsed many products and became a pitch-woman, appearing in numerous television commercials throughout the 1980s.

Elvira also appeared in comic books, beginning in 1986 with the short-lived series from DC Comics, Elvira's House of Mystery.  In 2018, Elvira returned to comic books via Dynamite Entertainment.  Elvira's latest comic book series is Elvira in Monsterland Volume 1.  The series is written by David Avallone; drawn by Kewber Baal; colored by Walter Pereyra; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.  The series finds Elvira returning to the Multiverse of Movies (a bunch of “pocket dimensions” created by the existence of movies) in order to stop the creation of a monster army.

Elvira in Monsterland Volume 1 #1 (“It's a Vlad, Vlad, Vlad, Vlad World”) opens at Elvira's home on the outskirts of Hollywood.  Inside, Elvira is enjoying a respite from her recent misadventures in the “Multiverse of Movies,” though it turns out to be a brief break.  While watching director Tod Browning's 1931 horror classic, Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, a strange thing happens.

Vlad the Impaler is back!  He is raiding the Multiverse of Movies in order to build a monster army by plucking up some of cinema and television's greatest, most famous, and most infamous vampires and bloodsuckers.  Of course, it's up to Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark and bane of Vlad's existence, to stop his evil plan.

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 Elvira in Monsterland Volume 1 #1, one of many Dynamite/David Avallone Elvira comic books that I have read and enjoyed.

I have lost track of how many times I written in a review how much I enjoy writer David Avallone's Elvira comic books.  Hopefully, Avallone will continue to chronicle Elvira adventures long enough into the future that I will also forget this instance of praise.  Elvira in Monsterland #1 is a delightful, tongue-in-cheek romp, filled with sparkling cameos and pleasing references to both cinematic and real-world people, places, and things.  This first issue is such a joy to read, and I needed that.  Avallone's Elvira comic books are not only some of the best humor comic books published over the last decade, but they are also the consistent cure for the anytime and comic book reading blues.

Artist Kewber Baal's art perfectly captures the spirited chase through this “Multiverse of Movies,” and in his figure drawing, Baal makes it look like the characters are having a blast.  Colorist Walter Pereyra and letterer Taylor Esposito make the story hop around like a maniacal musical comedy, which is just the kind of crazy entertainment we probably all need right now.

I had high hopes for Elvira in Monsterland Volume 1 #1.  I had been waiting for Elvira in Monsterland Volume 1 #1.  It was worth it, and I think you should not deny yourself this fun, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Elvira and of David Avallone's Elvira comic books will want to read Elvira in Monsterland Volume 1.


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


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