The latest Vampirella one-shot is a hilariously woven tale that magnificently dives into full-blown spoof territory, as Mark Rahner places Vampi into the farcical world of “Fluffy the Vampire Killer”. That’s right, Vampirella bumps heads with a satirical version of Joss Whedon’s beloved popular culture icon, Buffy Summers. And if you’re a fan of either series, it’s a face-off that’s definitely worth checking out!
WRITTEN BY: Mark Rahner
ART BY: Cezar Razek
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
RELEASE: October 31st
Writing a script that pokes fun at the abundance of puns and dated pop-culture references littering the universe of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, seems to come naturally to Rahner. And he does so sufficiently, by dishing out quip after incessant quip throughout the one-shot; much to Vampi’s frustration.
Vampirella goes undercover as Ms. Normandy, the hot new substitute teacher at Fluffy’s high school, which naturally, sits atop an occult portal to Hell. Her predecessor, as it were, was eaten. Besides the obvious nod to Sunnydale’s Hellmouth, there are many references and inside-jokes taken from the BuffyVerse that only grow from page to page. My favourite happens to be The Brass, Rahner’s take on the nightclub Buffy and co. regularly frequent called, The Bronze. Whether it’s normal for high school kids to go clubbing all the time, or even have a nightclub, for that matter, you better believe he mocks it.
The big bad in this one-shot is a sinister group of demonic Puritans, or as I see them, evil pilgrims, who are brutally mutilating the sexually active students and teachers on campus, but just enough to stop them from succumbing to temptation again. In doing so, they are aiding a much greater demon that feeds on sexual repression. Unfortunately for the FluffyVerse, “Abstinence Education Week” is being pushed by the administration, and the students are suffering with pent up sexual frustration. This whole idea is just one fantastic jab after another at conservative America’s views on sex education, slut-shaming, and victim blaming; and Rahner goes to town with that mentality during the first meeting between Vampirella and Fluffy.
Vampirella is almost always scantily clad in her signature red sling suit and black knee-high boots, and Fluffy knew she couldn’t be a real teacher “outside of a Van Halen [music] video.” The clothing, the bangin’ body, Vampi’s obvious appeal to the male market does make a person question her validity as anything but a voluptuous sex object. But after numerous jeers from Fluffy regarding Vampirella’s revealing attire and camel toe, Rahner helps Vampirella put things in perspective. Regardless of what she’s wearing, she’s a feminist icon in a medium filled to the brim with unrealistic and overly sexualized half-naked women. What she wears holds no merit. And she doesn’t shy away from scrutinizing Fluffy’s girl power routine. “Empowerment means I can wear whatever I want and kill anyone who has a problem with it.”
“Vampirella vs. Fluffy the Vampire Killer’s” comedic aspects are very well balanced by the outrageously gory violence in script, but mostly in Cezar Razek’s art. The gorgeous renderings from Razek are very fun and animated, surprisingly, if taking into account some of the darker scenes in the issue. He shows fantastic detail and his work is visually charismatic in execution. Nick Bradshaw’s cover is also of particular note, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Razek’s panels.
Overall, “Vampirella vs. Fluffy” is a comic book that offers Vampi fans (and Whedonites with a sense of humor), another entertaining adventure to add to their pull list. Though, it’s hard to say if those unfamiliar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer will get much out of it.
Reviewed by – ShadowJayd