Review: Vampirella #13
Dynamite has made its name by resurrecting properties in the public domain or forgotten properties that they acquired for an insignificant amount of money, but of all their properties it is Vampirella that has the closest connection to comics. Originally she was a B-List or lower character from the 1960s, designed to take advantage of the sexual revolution and a focus on both sci-fi and the supernatural. Although such a combination might have seemed to have a passing interest, she nonetheless managed to hold on to establish herself as a long running character whose publication history is mostly uninterrupted since her first appearances, due in part to her cult status as a sex symbol and one of comics original bad girls.
There is a problem in her presentation though. When she originally came on the scene it was during the coming of the silver age, already in place for some and still to come for others, but the method of story telling in the silver age was fitting enough for her character. There was less continuity, if writers wanted to make up a story which made little sense from what came before, they mostly had the freedom to do so. The modern medium of comics is somewhat different, less escapism and more serious story telling, but the stories have never really caught up to Vampirella. Although there has been an attempt to fit her into the modern medium, there has never really been the right momentum to get her there. The most recent series and the most recent story arc is proof of that. She is leader of the Kabal, but as a plot device it has been pretty weak, as she travels the world on secret missions for a sect of vampires.
Other parts of these 13 issues have looked like they might be going somewhere else, but have also often stalled, and this final issue with this concept also feels rushed and out of place. It is too bad because the talent has mostly been there to take the stories to another level, just they have not ever really made it. Vampirella belongs in comics, but it seems as though a proper home cannot be found for her. Instead she is just shifted around between somewhat generic stories without ever really finding one that can highlight her as a character. Perhaps with the end of the Kabal concept the character can find a better direction to be taken in, but for the moment, this was another failed experiment for her.
Story: Nancy A Collins Art: Patrick Berkenkotter
Story: 6.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass
Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review.