Review: ‘Vampirella: Southern Gothic’ #1

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With a solid storyline, “Vampirella: Southern Gothic” #1 establishes enough of its premise to keep readers hooked. There is a sufficient amount vampire action and excitement in these pages to keep your full attention. For those who haven’t read a “Vampirella” comic, this is a perfect place to start with the horror heroine.

Written By: Nate Cosby
Art By: Jose Luis
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Price: $3.99
Release: July 14, 2013

Vampirella is lost in a supernatural world where demons and vampires want to claim her as their own. Wanting nothing to do with her origins, Vampirella struggles to make a seemingly normal life just for herself. But when an old flame desperately reaches out to her for help, Vampirella realizes she cannot get away from her past. But first, she has to deal with a robbery gone horribly wrong by a group of demons. Before the police arrive, Vampirella has to stop the demonic robbers before their fight reaches the public.

Writer Nate Cosby examines Vampirella as an anti-hero who doesn’t want to belong with any group. Even Vampirella doesn’t know if she is supposed to be a vampire, demon, or alien. She almost prefers to be branded as an outcast to her own supernatural kind. During their action-packed confrontation, the demons are either turned on or off by the fact she is a weird anomaly to their species. The demons have actually found a way to make her bleed, and it frightens Vampirella to the core.

What I really liked is how Cosby suggests Vampirella will be out of her element in the upcoming issues. In the story arc, she will be moving away from the big city to the southern, Mississippi backdrop. Vampirella is also running away from her problems, which could also come back to haunt her later on. Cosby also hinted at flashbacks to Vampirella’s previous life and I hope he continues with this storytelling technique.

Artist Jose Luis captures a modern, yet still provocative, character design for Vampirella. This time around, her new wardrobe is tight blue jeans and skimpy clothing to show off her mid-riff. To tease longtime fans, Luis brings back the signature red suit in a flashback sequence. Luis wants to keep Vampirella’s new look in the present day and her previous costume as a reflection of her past.
The robbery gone wrong in the opening pages is a major highlight of Luis’ illustrations. Vampirella singlehandedly takes on a horde of vicious demons, throwing her fists left and right. The action increases as Vampirella takes the fight to the streets. She actually jumps on a demon and bites his neck with her fangs. There is red blood all over the page when Vampirella sprouts these huge bat-wings from her back.

With its premise established, “Vampirella: Southern Gothic” #1 sets off the vampire seductress with a new look and a different setting. I’m looking forward to seeing this vampire in the American South landscape.

3.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis