ELVIRA IN MONSTERLAND VOLUME 1 #3
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. (July 2023)
Chapter Three: “Howl”
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 Vlad the Impaler and the creation of a monster army.
Elvira in Monsterland Volume 1 #3 (“Howl”) opens in that pivotal moment in the 1981 film, An American Werewolf in London, when two young American backpackers experience a life-changing event with a werewolf. However, Elvira has been inserted into the scenario, and the werewolf is just the latest recruit of Vlad the Impaler.
Having cleaned up on vampires and Frankenstein monsters, it's time to gather the lycanthropy unit of Vlad's monster army. Now, it's a race through kooky werewolf and wolf man movie history, but Elvira is still wondering if Vlad is the true mastermind behind this hairy recruitment drive.
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 #3, one of many Dynamite/David Avallone Elvira comic books that I have read and enjoyed.
I am a huge fan of werewolf movies. Add that genre to David Avallone's Elvira comic books, and you have a horror porn – at least for me. I have seen many werewolf movies, and I have even reviewed some of them. Classics of the genre that Avallone references in this issue are The Wolf Man (1941), An American Werewolf in London (1981), The Howling (1981), and Teen Wolf (1985). Avallone even throws in some indirect, for-fun references to other movies, for instance, the based-on-a-true-story, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and the faux-documentary, 2000 Mules (2022).
Artist Kewber Baal's art perfectly captures the were-fun in Avallone's script. Just as Avallone does in his script writing, Baal has a knack for finding the spoof-a-panel gold in some well known films. With Walter Pereya's colors, Baal makes his parody of An American Werewolf in London look like that pivotal moment in the actual film.
Elvira in Monsterland is perfectly designed to be a romp through monster movie history. Fans of monster fiction will like this, and werewolf movie fans need this third issue.
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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