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Review: Vampirella #38 (Last issue)

Vampirella #38 has an air of finality to it, albeit hurried up a might more than regular readers might like, and indeed this issue brings this current incarnation of the bloody bombshell to a close.

But I am sure it will not be long before we see covers with a scantily clad female vampire on it. Patience is its own reward …

… Well, except perhaps fior readers really interested in this Vampirella yarn and not just the covers, a number that includes this reader.

Brandon Jerwa has handled Vampirella with a deft hand, but unfortunately it seems he has much story and few pages (even at a 40-count), and this final issue of the series volume not only seems rushed but downright sparse.

Everyone has been waiting for the secrets of our heroine’s returned mom, but the shocks come too fast and furious, the pain that should be a great one is left hanging in staid air. Vampirella deserves better than this.

The craftsman Heubert Khan Michael does his best to follow Jerwa’s fast-paced script, but quiet moments are left out, painful moments the reader has waited for ignored for run-of-the-mill stuffing.

We will miss our blood-sucking trouble-shooter. Hope it is not for long?

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Advanced Review: Vampirella #37

Talk about getting “a head” of the pack!

Vampirella #37 tackles the on-again/off-again relationship of the Queen of the Night and her mother, Lilith, in a whole new way this time around.

Seems that mighty sword swipe of Vampirella’s did not exactly do the job on Beatrice after all! Now the beheaded … er uh … head of Sister Midnight is making all sorts of demands of Vampirella’s mother, and none of them deal with what position she will be set in the Hall of Archives, lol.

The danger is dread and puts both Lilith and her daughter on the spot, with Vampirella following through on one of the grandest adventures of her long, long life.

Brandon Jerwa weaves a tale of intricate betrayal and ultimate savagery, with not just a little humor both broad and dark. His take on Vampirella is straight forward and our heroine’s rip-roarin’ monster bashing this issue is par excellent!

Speaking of monster bashing and other scenes, the art of Heubert Khan Michael carries the story greatly, with fiery scenes of Hell, breath-taking underwater scenes and panel arrangement that makes each point made by Jerwa pop!

I worry about this magazine with the title of the next adventure (“The Last Vampirella Story”), but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Adventure like this should not be missed! 

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Advanced Review: Vampirella #36

Those who think the various Vampirella series running over the years have offered little or no growth of the character need to read this week’s Vampirella #36. In this tale of Halloween-style horrors, our blood-sucking heroine proves a new leadership role in that realm has brought about a maturity and, well, an uncommon intellect that reflects the growth Vampirella has underwent.

Writer Brandon Jerwa proves that Vampirella is worth more to Dynamite than just sexy covers and calendars. There is meat to this character and amid a horror-studded backdrop, she fights and faces terrors that fill the adventure with a sense of ultimate doom. Jerwa does not take the easy way out at any juncture in the story, keeping even the casual reader on his or her toes.

Aiding this tale of tension are the beautiful and moody illustrations of artist Patrick Berkenkotter. Rarely has Vampirella been rendered so soulfully, gorgeous in her poses as well as powerful in her emotions and action sequences. Some of the panel arrangements are thrilling as they follow the script’s action, with just the one or two odd body angles to remind us this is a comic book. Superb overall.

Adam Van Helsing actually comes out a bit interesting in this yarn, harkening back to the flavor of the vampire crews in Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula. Different flavor of characters, of course, but in that same … well, vein.

If you are looking for a swift read and some good looking art, you can do a whole lot worse than this tale of leadership in development … this tale of Vampirella.

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Review: Vampirella #29

 

Ah, science and magic. Two sides of the same coin.

Both of these, along with time travel, figure into a bizarre but pleasant adventure for Vampirella and her family and allies.

Writer Brandon Jerwa puts our little gang through their paces in Hell as Vampirella learns Lukas Van Helsing is her son from the future. (He even spins the yarn of his trip and mission!)

Lukas goes on to save the life of Vampirella’s mother (and enemy), Lilith.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Vampirella’s close allies are working to free her (they think) from captivity in an independently controlled “dome” in Hell that is under Lucas’ control.

About the time Pendragon, using Vampirella as a mystic GPS, pops into Lukas’ dome to “rescue” Vampirella, all hell breaks loose — literally!

Next thing you know, our heroine and Criswell find themselves 100 years in the future.

The art by Patrick Berkenkotter is very moody, conveying the mystic and the alien with equal precision.

Jerwa spins a suspenseful tale for this mysterious female, and I cannot wait to see what faces Vampirella in a brave new world next month.

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