Review: ‘Vampirella Strikes’ #1

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Vampirella is one of the characters that has been consistently plagued by terrible writing. During the 90s Vampirella was at the forefront of the “Bad Girl” craze that featured female protagonists using their sexuality as a weapon. The story was typically secondary to the artwork, which often featured Vampirella striking a series of cheesecake sexual poses for fanboys to drool over.

WRITTEN BY: Tom Sniegoski
ART BY: Johnny Desjardins
PUBLISHER: Dynamite
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: January 2nd, 2013

It wasn’t until writer Tom Sniegoski took over Vampirella with his 25-issue run on “Vengeance of Vampirella” that she finally developed some substance. In his two year run, Sniegoski laid the groundwork for Vampirella to become a fierce bloodthirsty warrior with a purpose. His work on the character should be used as the benchmark for all “Vampirella” stories, as his “The Mystery Walk” origin story arc is one of the best story-arcs ever written in the character’s near fifty year history.

One of the smartest moves Dynamite Entertainment made was bringing Sniegoski back into the fold to write the new six-issue mini-series “Vampirella Strikes”. In this debut issue Sniegoski wastes no time and picks up exactly where he left off. He gives Vampirella somewhat of a Max Max style persona, as she opens up to a bartender about the monster within after shredding through a pack of demons. The framework is set for future issues to tackle Vampirella’s internal struggle to find balance between her humanity and her animalistic urges, while a war between heaven and hell threatens to break loose. In just one issue Tom Sniegoski has already demolished the “Bad Girl” underpinnings that so many writers had used as a crutch. He lays a new foundation for Vampirella to have strength, purpose, and most importantly, substance.

Artist Johnny Desjardins’ style is very reminiscent of the hyper-detailed work of David Finch. Desjardins delivers a solid first issue and he does his best to portray Vampirella in a realistic manner rather than the porn star poses that she is typically fashioned in. Although his characters can look a little stiff at time, he makes up for it with a dark, gritty style that compliments the tone of the story with an emphasis on shadows and silhouettes.

The first issue of “Vampirella Strikes” is the shift in direction that “Vampirella” has desperately needed for some time. Although the first issue was mainly an introduction to the characters and major plot points, “Vampirella Strikes” already has the potential to be one of the best storylines that this character has seen in years.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Skulls