By Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton
Dynamite brings back the infamous comic series Vampirella beginning with a 25¢ issue #0! With solid art and writing there’s really nothing to lose. In this debut we are reintroduced to the character as she is reintroduced to the world. It’s a quiet story about sacrifice that leads to a realm of possibilities for the series, which just might have an impact on readers worthy of Vampirella. But we’ll have to wait and see because this first installment is more about the awakening than her actual return.
Vampirella is surely one of the most immediately recognizable comic book icons out there. She is the epitome of pulp and probably the sexiest thing to happen in comics for decades, if not ever. Since the beginning, Vampirella has had an undeniable appeal and it’ll be interesting to see if that same appeal exists with modern audiences that are far more diverse than ever. If done right, the series won’t offend anyone, but if they rely too heavily on sex appeal than it may backfire. As of issue #0, everything seems to be going in a successfully balanced direction.
Writer Paul Cornell sets up a creepy little intro that, despite being short lived, allows us to see that there’s an entire world built up around the premise already. Thanks to efficient amounts of dialogue combined with a plot that only moves forward, Cornell will no doubt secure your interest right off the bat. No matter what the book feels like to you, it quickly starts to lean toward the same iconic flavor that we’re used to, as Vampirella is unleashed onto the world. Could the story have been more grandiose? Sure, but the more important question is, does it need to be anything more than this for now? It all depends on where the story goes in the upcoming issue #1 and whether this will be a true depiction faithful to the source material, or an all-new and unexpected direction.
Artist Jimmy Broxton handles his part well, keeping a mild story intriguing enough for us to follow along with anticipation. His panel arrangements are a sign of great storytelling and his colors offer emotional cues, even in a story that’s pretty straightforward. The characters are literally on a path, set amongst a bleak landscape. Broxton has a classic vibe and his sense of space and detail is worthy of the legendary illustrator Alex Toth. Implied textures are sometimes better than over-drawn images, and here his colors do their part to fill in the gaps. Broxton has a dynamic approach that feels grounded in the real world, enough to make us believe we could take the same journey, go to the same places, and exist in Vampirella’s universe.
However, with a title like Vampirella, making a nice and neat story wont be enough. This comic will have a lot to live up to and it’s going to be important for the creators to rise to the challenge. Vampirella has always been a blend of genres: horror, fantasy, and science fiction and so here’s hoping Dynamite, Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton give as much content as possible to stay true to the essence of the character and her franchise while also breathing new life into Vampirella. So far, we’re off to a good start.