Published on January 16th, 2015 | by Steven Roman
Review: Vampirella #100
For forty-five years, she’s been killing bad guys and sucking blood, all while wearing the scantiest of costumes, and now Vampirella reaches her latest milestone, with the publication of her one hundredth issue under the Dynamite Entertainment banner!
Wait a minute. One hundred issues? As Ralph Wiggum of The Simpsons would say, “That’s unpossible!,” because the eighth issue of her latest series, Vampirella, Volume 2, was just published at the beginning of January. Ahh, but that’s only due to the fact that Ralph is unfamiliar with the magic of Comics Math! In this application, Dynamite combines all the Vampirella comics it’s published—series, miniseries, and one-shots—to reach that magic number. It’s an accounting trick they’ve used before, as in the case of 2014’s Warlord of Mars #100.
So what is Vampirella #100? It’s a collection of stories by some of Dynamite’s best-known writers and artists. And here’s what you’ll find in its pages:
“Vampirella of Drakulon,” by writer Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash) and artist Jim Terry (The Crow: Skinning the Wolves), is the highlight of the issue, especially if you’re an old-school Vampi fan. Going back to Vampi’s roots as a science-fiction vampire living on the planet Drakulon, we find her struggling to survive as her world and its people are dying around her. Seeley does a great job with the story, and Terry’s art evokes original Vampi artist Tom Sutton, right down to the non–bathing suit costume Vampi wore in 1969’s Vampirella #1.
“The Vodnik,” by writer Eric Trautmann (Red Sonja) and artist Dave Acosta (Chastity), is a nice character piece, in which Vampi interviews a vodnik—basically a troll living under a bridge—to solve a series of murders in Chicago. Acosta’s style is reminiscent of the old Warren horror magazines, and his variety of facial expressions brings the vodnik to four-color life.
“A Closer Walk With Thee,” by writer Brandon Jerwa (Pantha) and artist Gabriel Mayorga, involves Vampi paying a visit to a cemetery, to speak with the dead. What she’s hoping to learn from them unfortunately leads to a “where the hell did that come from?” ending that may leave readers moaning like ghosts themselves.
“Kovak the Night Walker” by writer Mark Rahner (The Twilight Zone) and artist Javier Garcia-Miranda (Purgatori) is a very nice tribute to that 1970s cult classic TV series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and its lead character, intrepid reporter Carl Kolchak. Here, “Cal Novak,” long since retired from the reporting game, recounts his interactions with a vampire named Vampirella—a story that, naturally, no one has ever believed…except, perhaps, for the two shadowy FBI agents who’ve come to visit him…
“A Cry in the Jungle,” by current Vampirella series writer Nancy A. Collins and artist Francesco Manna (Army of Darkness #1992.1), closes the special. It appears to be a “lost tale” of Vampi during the globetrotting tour of killing legendary vampires that comprised Collins’s first story arc for the series. A stopover in the Philippines brings Vampi into conflict with a group of vampiric babies called tianaks. Given Collins’s knowledge of horror, it’s probably no coincidence that the tianaks resemble the mutant killer babies from the 1974 horror classic It’s Alive and its sequels. Manna’s art works well with Collins’s story, and serves as something of a preview of their collaboration on the upcoming Altered States: Vampirella one-shot.
Bottom line? It’s a good collection of stories that should please Vampirella fans. The one drawback for me is that, for a “hundredth” issue, it should have been more of a major event celebrating such a special issue rather than an anthology, but you may feel differently.
Stories by Nancy A. Collins, Tim Seeley, Eric Trautmann, Brandon Jerwa, and Mark Rahner
Art by Francesco Manna, Jim Terry, Dave Acosta, Gabriel Mayorga, and Javier Garcia-Miranda
Main cover by Joe Jusko
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
48 pages • full-color
On sale January 21, 2015