"Vampirella #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Paul Cornell
Illustrated by Jimmy Broxton
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 15th, 2017
It's one thing to wake up after a thousand years and encounter a bizarre new world. It's quite another when that world is full of dildos. After dealing with some unfortunate sentries, Vampirella spends a few minutes getting acquainted with her new surroundings before focusing on what appears to be the main task at hand, which is finding a new outfit. This coming from the woman who primarily wore a string bikini with a collar for decades.
The new outfit in question is rather boring. While I had issues with Vampirella's original costume, as it made no sense for anyone outside of the beach or a photoshoot, the recent redesign worked well. It was an adventurer outfit that was practical while still form-fitting and sexy. This time around, she looks like a hipster heading to a dinner party. She's sporting a low cut dress with a short skirt, tights, long gloves, and short boots. Oh, and she got a haircut. She looks like Vampirella's normalized cousin who moved to the suburbs after marrying an accountant. It's a far cry from the fierce heroine we're used to seeing.
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This new world is rather odd. It seems that after 1,000 years, humanity has focused everything around the penis. Phallic objects are literally popping out of buildings. People are walking around with strap-ons or dildos on their head. This is what the Jetsons would look like if they were sex crazed. It looks interesting enough and artist Jimmy Broxton did a good job designing it. It just looks weird and out of place. I'm willing to give it time to explain itself as this is only the first issue.
It's also strange that after sleeping for 1,000 years and then discovering blood is now black, Vampirella's first thoughts are to find some new clothes. Between that and the city of dicks, is this a misogynistic story? Or am I just reading too much into it? You'd think that if you needed to consume blood to live and it has been altered in a major way, you'd want to investigate your food source immediately to ensure your survival, not go on a shopping spree.
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Each page of Vampirella features a line of inner monologue from the title character shown in red letters. This is a nice touch and works like a signature for each page, as if Vampirella were adding these panels to a scrapbook and those were her captions. What's odd though is that she still has thought bubbles throughout the book. Most of these are unnecessary, as you can tell what she's feeling from Broxton's artwork. It could have worked well without them while still keeping the taglines for each page.
Vampirella jumps a thousand years into the future and loses everything that made it an edgy, interesting read. The title character is now little more than a vampire version of Cher from Clueless, focused more on the latest fashions than investigating this new world. This city of phalluses is presented as shock value that falls flat, as they look more silly than anything. I'm bummed about all of this because the debut issue #0 showed a lot of promise, but it seems to have stumbled right out of the gate.