Sunday, February 18, 2024

Comics Review: "ELVIRA Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1 #1" Calls You to Cthulhu


STORY: David Avallone
ART: Kewber Baal
COLORS: Walter Pereya
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Dave Acosta with Walter Pereyra
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (February 2024)

Rated Teen+

Chapter One: “The Collect Call of Cthulhu”

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 Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1.  The series is written by David Avallone; drawn by Kewber Baal; colored by Walter Pereyra; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

Elvira Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1 #1 (“The Collect Call of Cthulhu”) opens with Elvira about to enjoy some dreamy boot-knocking when she is mystically cock-blocked.  Infamous horror and fantasy author, H.P. Lovecraft, has returned from his sweet hereafter, the Abyss.  It seems that one of the “Elder Gods,” the Lord of the Abyss has a mission for Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

He must find the last true copy of the ancient tome of dark magic, “the Necronomicon.”  Completing this task will free Lovecraft from his miserable eternity.  Lovecraft's first problem is that he needs Elvira to join him because she has a reputation in many mystical realms of being the one who turns back all manner of supernatural threats.  His second problem is that Elvira is not interested, even if it means the return of Cthulhu.

However, the threat may be bigger and more familiar than she realizes...

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 Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1 #1, one of many Dynamite/David Avallone Elvira comic books that I have read and enjoyed.

I really enjoyed writer David Avallone and artist Juan Samu's sexy, ghostly romp, Elvira Meets Vincent Price, a five-issue miniseries published in 2021.  Avallone offers another tasty... coupling, this time pairing the Mistress of the Dark with a ghost of American arts and culture who is not nearly as delightful as Vincent Price, the renowned fantasy and horror author, H.P. Lovecraft.  Avallone sprinkles the script for this first issue with references to Lovecraft's reputation, including a sly, near slip of the tongue regarding Lovecraft's racism and bigotry.  Whereas Elvira Meets Vincent Price reads like a comic book version of a Bob Hope romp, however, Elvira Meets Vincent Price seems to be dark and maybe scarier.  At least, that is my take on it this early in the series.

Artist Kewber Baal proved to an excellent match for Avallone's humor in the most recent Elvira comic book miniseries, Elvira in Monsterland.  Here, Baal turns Avallone script into a swell comedy, but his graphical storytelling surrounds the repartee with a swirling mass of darkness and horror comic book energy.  Walter Pereyra's colors convey this interplay of comedy and scary that keep the story moving.

I'm being conservative with my grade for this first issue of Elvira Meets H.P. Lovecraft, but I am very excited about it.  I expect great things, and dear readers, I expect you to read Elvira Meets H.P. Lovecraft #1.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Elvira and of David Avallone's Elvira comic books will want to read Elvira Meets H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1.


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

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