"Savage Tales: Vampirella" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Erik Burnham and Doug Murray
Illustrated by Anthony Marques, J.Bone, Fernando Ruiz, Daniel HDR, and Lui Antonio
Colored by Mohan and Inlight Studio
2018, 48 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on May 9th, 2018
Vampirella finds herself in the midst of combat with a number of barbarians. Fortunately, she can hold her own even against such insurmountable odds and clad in only a skimpy bathing suit. This is just the beginning of her latest adventure, which will lead her to a face-to-face confrontation with a snake monster.
This Savage Tales one-shot features a number of different artists contributing to one story. Although there are different styles at work, they flow together nicely. It didn't feel too jarring when the artists changed, especially since the hand off was made during scene transitions. Each one works with a pulpy, almost cartoonish flair with some very clean lines. This makes the gore pop in all its visceral glory.
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Colorist Mohan makes the bloodshed shine in vibrant red. It stands out well against Vampirella's pale skin. There's an awesome shot of her invading some of the barbarians' minds with her hands up near her face. Think of the dance number in Pulp Fiction. Blood covers her hands, dripping onto her face and chest as she stares ahead confidently. Contrast this with the look of abject fear in the eyes of her enemies as they quiver in her very presence.
This is Vampirella in her regular mode, but when she gets angry, the fangs come out and she gets even more brutal, hacking and slashing the barbarians into pieces. Appendages are flying everywhere. She plunges her hand into a guy's face, sending teeth one way and blood out his ears in a gruesome shot.
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There's more than just blood and gore in Savage Tales. There's a bit of a mystery as Vampirella looks into why she's being attacked in the first place. Someone has it out for her and she intends to find out who, even if that means she has to kill a few more people to do so. This introduces another eerie element to the story as her opponent has strange mind control powers, bringing order to a nearby town by forcing everyone in line psychically. It's creepy to see normal everyday people suddenly lose control of their bodies as their eyes go white.
Vampirella is not just a horror icon, but a comic book icon. This one-shot written by Erik Burnham is a testament to that storied legacy. Yes, it's more than a little campy, but that's part of the charm with the character. As an added bonus, there's a gorgeous short story included called “Valaka,” originally published in Savage Tales: Volume 1 #19 & 20 that works in the same vein as Vampirella. The two complement each other well.