"Vampblade #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Action Lab Entertainment
Written by Jason Martin
Illustrated by Winston Young
Colored by Jason Martin
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 3rd, 2016
A young comic shop employee picks up a pair of mystical blades and is suddenly transformed into an exxxtreme super heroine ripped from the pages of '90s funny books. Who says there are no new ideas out there? Welcome to Vampblade, a new ongoing series spinning out of the pages of Zombie Tramp. If you went through those dark ages of comics that was the '90s with the foil embossed covers and more costume pouches than you can count, you will have an immediate understanding of what Vampblade looks like.
The thing about all this is that the book pokes fun at it. It's not meant to be taken seriously in the same way it was back then. Vampblade slices a man's throat with a bladed stiletto. Her costume features chains that run from her nipples down to her belly button and then to her blades. It's like Witchblade crossed with Spawn, two iconic characters from the '90s era. I dig artist Winston Young's design here in that it's a slightly goofy take on all those tropes that we came to loathe later on. It's tough to take the character seriously in that outfit, although I'm not sure that we're meant to just yet.
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Vampblade jumps right into the action. It's sort of a secret origin as we see how the title characters gets her powers, but it's little more than her seeing some gangsters come into her store and then grabbing what she thought were props off the wall, only to find herself given strange new abilities and a BDSM costume. We don't need to know the full history of the blades just yet. For now, we need to understand what they're capable of and we see that in all the blood that is spilled throughout these pages.
Outside of the aforementioned gangsters, there are some bizarre alien parasites that appear when Vampblade emerges. There's a definite connection between them and the blades. This is the creepiest part of the book, as these parasites come out of the mouths of seemingly innocent bystanders. All of a sudden they're possessed by these creatures and will stop at nothing to destroy Vampblade. They look like the unholy offspring of the Xenomorphs from Aliens and the creatures from Tremors.
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Vampblade is just getting started. There's more than enough here to pique my interest and continue to check it out to see where it goes next. At the very least, I definitely want to check out the character's other appearance in the recent Zombie Tramp vs Vampblade trade paperback. This comic takes place before that story.