"Vampblade (Season 3) #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Action Lab: Danger Zone
Written by Jason Martin
Illustrated by Marcelo Costa
2018, 32 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on April 4th, 2018
Katie Carva has been slaying Glarkian space vampires for a while as Vampblade. The scope of her gig as a leather-clad warrior woman greatly increased when she learned of the existence of the League of Intergalactic Vampblades while her hometown of Detroit was under attack by a massive alien threat. While the city may be destroyed, Katie is given another chance to fix it as she's transported into an alternate dimension and meets a version of herself that just picked up the blades. Double the Vampblades would do some serious damage to the Glarkian invasion.
Vampblade: Season Three kicks off with a trip back to the very beginning, although one that's just a bit different. We see the showdown that led to Katie's transformation, albeit with some slight variations. It's a fun trip down memory lane and I'm a sucker for alternate reality stories, so this is a nice fit. The changes to this scenario are enough to have our Katie taken aback for a moment. She's seeing people that were dead or completely out of her life back home so it takes some getting used to.
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More importantly, this trip is putting Katie in the role of mentor. It's just that she's helping an alternate version of herself. This struck me as a little odd, as the end of Season Two showed that she is still very much a rookie as a Vampblade. The League demonstrated that she was using a fraction of the blades' powers and has no real idea what they're capable of. Here she's more of a seasoned pro, but only because this Katie literally just picked up the weapon.
Fortunately, the two Vampblades have some differences so we're able to tell them apart. Artist Marcelo Costa maintains the core essence of the character with her admittedly ridiculous and impractical costume, but puts a unique spin on it for this other world. The uniform is rather silly if you look at it for more than a few seconds and based on how skimpy it is, I'm sure there are a lot of folks looking at it for much longer than that. It does work as a fun and sexy homage to the insane costumes seen in comics during the '90s.
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Even the Glarkians have a different look to them in this world. They were described as “space dicks” on Katie's planet, but here on Earth 97225 (the actual name for it), they're definitely more like space vaginas. Yes, this is all a little juvenile, but you kind of know what you're getting into with a book like Vampblade before you open it up. You'll know pretty quickly if this book is for you or not.
The Glarkians usually take over people, but in this issue there's a great scene where they inhabit a number of stuffed animals. This creates an unsettling battle as stuffed frogs and pigs descend upon the Vampblades with translucent space vaginas extending from their faces. I need to take a moment to recognize and appreciate the absolutely bonkers sentence I just wrote there. That's comics, everybody.
Vampblade is a fun, campy comic. Writer Jason Martin packs the book with gags and in-jokes for long time fans of the medium. This season looks to expand the scale of the series and explore additional wielders of the Vampblade. That sounds pretty awesome and I'm very curious as to where this will go next.