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  • Vampirella #27

    I must admit I'm a little conflicted by the latest issue. For years I've been campaigning for a more realistic, Warrenesque Vampi, and Mr. Jerwa has taken a big step in this direction by giving her not only a love interest, but by bringing back Adam. Vampi's quest to save Adam's soul is realistic and much more interesting than the "just kill bad guys" plots we're used to. There is also the potential for a love triangle. So I salute his efforts. The problem is, there is just zero chemistry between Criswell and Vampirella.

    For instance, the backstory of their first meeting was not even on the same planet as Archie Goodwin's initial matching of Adam and Vampi. Granted, that one set the bar impossibly high - it was basically perfect in every conceivable way, but the current author could have at least borrowed some of Goodwin's themes.

    Criswell suceeds on one level: he represents a portal for the reader to enter the story. He's enough of an everyman that the average reader can relate; but at the end of the day, she is out of his league so we know he can't last. Unfortunately, Mr. Jerwa's handling of Adam in previous issues was as bland as it gets. So maybe we're better off with Criswell.

    Inconsistencies also bothered me about this issue. Vampi is chased by alien(?) thugs. We don't know why (I have a feeling we'll never know as this was just a plot device) and Vampi's dialog was way out-of-character with what we've gotten used to. I again salute Mr. Jerwa for getting rid of the cliched clobber-talk, but the pendulum seems to have swung too far in the other direction. Her level of fear and vulnerability was too great. Maybe if we'd seen a whole issue of her being out-matched...but these just looked like standard villians that she normally eats for breakfast. She was also bandaged up afterwards. In some issues she takes a sickening amount of damage and bounces right back; in others she's practically in a body cast. It needs to be one or the other.

    And her mother. She died twice in the Harris era: crushed under God's thumb and then killed again in Revelations. If she had returned in this issue -- after Dracula changed reality -- it might have worked, but she showed up before this happened, so it bugs me that she's back. However, it could become interesting, and it helps flesh-out Vampirella as a character, so I'm on board though conflicted.

    The art is okay but feels incomplete, like a storyboard prepared for a another artist who will finish things off. I also have trouble following the action scenes. I had to read the elevator incident at the beginning several times before I realized exactly what was happening (or at least thought I knew).

    Great art is vital for Vampirella and makes up hugely for weak stories. By making Vampirella supernaturally beautiful, Jose Gonzalez made many a mediocre story pay off. Perhaps the answer now is to keep Mr. Michael as an inker and bring in a new penciller. It would be great if Fabio Neves or Amanda Connor could do some issues. Vampirella should really stand-out in her comic, not blend into everything else. The recent Red Room series is a good example of this; you knew where Vampi was in every panel (well, most of the time)!

    So in summary, there's a lot of things moving in the right direction: a more fully-realized, vunlnerable Vampi with something of a love life; the return of a supporting cast of sorts; and plots that revolve around something more than fighting vampires. Execution is still a weak point, however. Dynamite needs to find a way to kick this up a notch, to coin a phrase.

  • #2
    i dont read vampirella, but I really appreciated how intelligent this post is, instead of being just a fan boy rant. And now I'm interested in how the new direction for a character I'm not a fan of turns out. Hope dynamite fixes these problems for you guys!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by brickbutler View Post
      i dont read vampirella, but I really appreciated how intelligent this post is, instead of being just a fan boy rant. And now I'm interested in how the new direction for a character I'm not a fan of turns out. Hope dynamite fixes these problems for you guys!
      Thanks. I also buy RS. Grew up with the great Roy Thomas & Frank Thorne issues of the '70s. Sonja is no where near as enjoyable as in those days, but she hasn't changed as much as Vampirella, so I reserve my rants for Vampi!
      Last edited by rlvaugh; 03-12-2013, 02:44 PM.

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      • #4
        Speaking of Red Sonja, seeing Rose McGowan as the young Cora on "Once Upon a Time" really makes the Red Sonja movie cancellation even harder to take. She was fabulous!

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        • #5
          I was putting away issue 27 and I noticed my copies of the old Warren issues 24-25, written by Bill DuBay. I had forgotten how superb this story was. This is the one where Pen & Vampi are kidnapped by Pen's mobster family - who hate him - with the intention of turning Vampi (who they don't know is a vampire) into a drug addict to punish him. They shoot her up with cocaine, which reacts with her Draculonian metabolism to turn her into a crazed killing machine. Vampi almost kills Pen, eats her way through the gangster henchman, and takes out Pen's son-in-law and 12-year old grandson before regaining her senses. The issue is full of tension, passion, deep emotion, and action. But as was once said about Star Trek, it's the human adventure that really matters. Why can't we write them like this anymore (or draw them, for that matter, this may be one of Gonzalez's finest efforts. Whoa!)?

          One thing that strikes me about this story and this period in Vampirella's history is that she was something of an island in a sea of humans. She was the last of her kind, an alien from beyond the stars, and many of her interactions were just with humans, who mostly did not know what she was. The beauty of this was that it made it much easier (and necessary) to work the interpersonal relationships and character development lacking today. Yes, there were lots of monsters in the Warren days, but they weren't hanging out on every street corner like they are in the Dynamite universe; they were more special, like Vampi herself. Whereas Vampi is today a superhero, she used to be a heroine, even a reluctant one, and this left room for realism and stories that were a cut above. I don't think there's been anything in the Dynamite world that comes close to the depth of feeling that was evoked by DuBay when Vampi killed Pen's innocent grandson (I'll give a nod to Eric for his work with Von Kreist, which did get an emotional rise out of me).

          Why have publisher's written off the Warren vision of Vampirella only to doggedly pursue a mediocre version that has never generated outstanding sales and has even failed? It may be 40 years since Warren #25, but good writing is still good writing. If Dynamite owns the rights to The Rook, they could have that character take us to another reality in the multiverse where the Warren Vampi exists (maybe the current Vampi could go along for the ride). Visit this other reality for 4-5 issues (and try not to muck it up) to see if readers respond. I mean, Dynamite advertises how the Vampirella reprint trades have been on the New York Times' Bestseller list...do they think that's just for the back stories?

          I guess there's the argument that The Scarlet Legion brought back a lot of the Warren characters and elements, but that was a perfect train wreck so it really shouldn't count, except to point out that Dynamite is probably incapable of capturing the charm of the original. I periodically want to see this but then talk myself out of it. Leave well enough alone.

          crap.

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          • #6
            Hello all new here on the forum. Huge Vampi fan much like rivaugh. She is what brought me to Dynamite. While I agree whole heartedly with a lot of what you said rivaugh. I think they(dynamite) are taking big steps in the right directions. Bringing back Sniegoski and Desjardins for Strikes is great move, wouldn/t mind seeing them for a few ongoing issues after the mini too. I maybe just riding the buzz like I did when she moved to Harris in the 90s after growing up with her in the 70s and 80s(yeah I/m an old man). As for being a continuity freak I just keep telling myself this is a different and new volume of Vampi. Sure loved her as an Alien from Drakulon, I got used to the Biblical references of Harris and even enjoyed them. It/s not Warren or Harris It/s Dynamite. I can/t wait until #28 and Strikes #4 next week, just to see how her future unfolds.

            I do think the bumping the content of Vampi back to mature audience base would yield stronger story lines, but this volume is geared to the teen+ group

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            • #7
              I don't disagree, Captain, there have been improvements in the Dynamite version, and it's a lot better than no Vampirella!

              Still, it's frustrating that neither Harris nor Dynamite made a serious attempt at the Warren universe/continuity. If you remember --early-on-- Harris started reprinting colorized versions of the Warren issues, but they didn't sell well and they stopped. I wonder if that was considered "proof" that the old version wouldn't sell. Not a fair assessment, if that assumption is correct.

              In retrospect, I think the decision to give Vampi miraculous healing powers had the largest impact on the series. The Warren Vampi could heal faster than a human, but not by much. This kept the stories rooted in reality and also kept her from becoming a true superheroine. Her stories had to be geared more for adults and tilted toward the sex part of "sex and violence." Now all we get is violence. That leads to one-dimensional characters (think '60's DC vs Marvel).

              But still looking forward to Wednesday!

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              • #8
                Agreed it is frustrating that neither have taken a stab at Warrens continuity aka Vampi/s History really. But I/ve been giving this some thought. Dynamite is trying to bring back a character with deep Loner roots, "an island in the sea of humanity" as you stated, to a present day teen+ fan base that wants their Vampires to twinkle in the sunlight or drink near blood and peacefully coexist with humans. It/s gonna be tough for the writers to find a balance there. So we don/t get the sexual Vampirella of yore, at least she still stomping some demon arse.

                As for Harris Classics short run of Warren Originals Vs Dynamite NYTBS Archive Volumes. Same reason film fans wanted Ted Turners head on a pike in 1985. COLORIZED nuff said. I stopped buying after 3 issues. Try sitting through The Longest Day colorized without a migraine. Imagine in 25 years someone reprints Sin City in Tricolor, think it would have the same artistic impact in had in the 90s. No It/d suck.

                Scarlet Legion could have been so much better, How do you muck up Hot Templar Nuns with crossbows, would like to see them return in a better story arc.
                As for the insta heal yeah reel that shyte in a bit. Give Vampi some recoup time, where she can actually seduce a love intrest. Kinda thought we were going somewhere new with Sophia Murray, but oh yeah Teen+.

                Picking up my drawer tomorrow the 11th for #28 and Strikes #4
                I/m begging here, Just one Satyr and Circe!!!! exclamation Just one...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Capt_13M View Post
                  Give Vampi some recoup time, where she can actually seduce a love intrest. Kinda thought we were going somewhere new with Sophia Murray, but oh yeah Teen+.
                  Please repeat after me: Vampi is not lez. Vampi is not lez. Vampi is not lez. (OK, she isn't prejudiced either but she isn't lez. All fanfics and the whole oeuvre of Gene Espy may say otherwise, but it ain't canon )
                  Sofia always had the disadvantage that she is only cannon fodder in the gritty darkened(tm) Vampi universe (and Eric was only consequent in his plotting). No comparison to a character like, say, Cryssie Collins/Astaroth. (Dynamite, if it's a (c) issue with Warren, play in the lottery and buy her, otherwise some day I might take a visit and demand to bring her back with your prez held at stakepoint )

                  &S

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                  • #10
                    What you said about Criswell is right on the money, he is an everyman, and he isn't a bad guy, but you nailed it, she is out of his league. She knows it, he knows it, the readers know it. In that sense he comes across as sort of a chump, He holds himself well though. I read issue 26, and picked up 28 today forgot to grab 27, haven't been to the store in a while. I will get it tommorow, but in earlier issues I could see the problem with this "relationship".

                    I haven't read a great deal of dialogue with helsing in it yet, a brief scene months ago, I'm holding on reading 28 until tommorow when I get 27, the problem is that he also seems like sort of a stick in the mud. I like the idea of Vampi being romantically involved, having emotions, but some part of me just refuses to see her pining away for somebody. Idk, I'll post more tommorow when I have a better picture.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by James View Post
                      I'll post more tommorow when I have a better picture.
                      Looking forward to it. The story in #29 was more interesting than 28, but the art let me down. Just like with Harris, it's hard to find a Vampirella issue that hits on both cylinders.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rlvaugh View Post
                        Looking forward to it. The story in #29 was more interesting than 28, but the art let me down. Just like with Harris, it's hard to find a Vampirella issue that hits on both cylinders.

                        Hey bud, took me a bit longer. I'll warn you up front, I ramble. I missed issue 26 actually, but I just finished readding 27 28 and 29. These 3 issues may have saved the series for me. Mr. BRANDON JERWA, THANK YOU!

                        I had basically given up on the series after issue 25, after 21 it seemed to become mindless clobber talk and stale as hell stories. It was basically everything I didn't want. Picking up 27 at the beginning of this theories of relativity arc and reading the following issues has made me so happy. Yeah she _kind_ of acts differently but I think its because Jerwa is making her real, All 3 issues, the story and amount/quality of dialogue was excellent.I haven't been this pumped about the series in a while, looking forward to #30. Bravo Zulu!

                        As Far as Criswell/Vampi/Helsing. after 27 I went from thinking Criswell was a nice guy/doormat/chump to actually feeling sorry for the guy and even down right liking him. His head is all levels of eaten up over Vampi, a "woman" who sits down to a dinner in Hell and that isn't even that strange to her. I think she cares for him, secretly loves him even. However as Vampi would say "after all, he's just human". Considering that She is the type of woman who makes enemies out of creatures with insane power and anger, even if he could hold her interest long enough for love to bloom, the best he can hope for is die some really terrible death at the hands of one of her enemies. I'm rooting for the guy, When Vampi reunites with Helsing it definately wasn't the passion 'splosion you would expect from two star-crossed lovers who have made so much of each other. Maybe because he is a boring douche, and her "son" , geez, if helsing is a boring douche the kid is worse..the worst even, an agressive snobby douche.

                        I kind of want Criswell to ask Vampi flat out if there is a chance, if she says no move on, maybe he can and have some peace, then he could also tell the Conjuress "hey, I got involved in this freak show when you asked so I could be closer to her, if this isn't going to pan out, i'm going to leave, i'll go work at home depot..drive trucks , Idk, Something less likely to get me ripped apart. Good times an all, but would all of you leave me the %^&* alone." Maybe even ask Vampi "hey , can you like mind wipe me with your powers? If so, do that and stop screwing with my head and my life"

                        I'm going to surprise myself by saying I've liked the art of the recent issues, especially 27 and 28 with Huebert. Certainly not the flashy art of modern comics i've come to expect/demand. But for all of the seeming blandess the images actually portray the scenes wonderfully. And since I think these issues have been so well written it actually is conducive to the story for me

                        On this note and in closing, Issue #28 had one of the funniest panels i've seen in recent memory. Hopper holding his chin and staring at Criswell, it evoked images of this dystopian Bugs Bunny just about to ask "whats up doc?". Classic.

                        Sorry for the long post!
                        Last edited by James; 05-25-2013, 03:48 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I'm starting to warm to Criswell, I think the next issue, trapped with Vampi in the future, will make or break the character. Would have helped if they hadn't drawn him as a major wuss in the final panel, but I guess this was to solidify their roles -- Vampi dominant with wide stance and head high, Criswell subordinate in pigeon-toed panic.

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