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?


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! 


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.


Advanced Review: Vampirella Halloween Special (One-Shot)

It has been a long time since I have seen the character of Dracula portrayed with the horror, the nobility and the viciousness that was once present in Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula. But writer Shannon Eric Denton manages to capture that vengeful, wondrous essence while still having some fun in this Vampirella Halloween Special from Dynamite.

Vampirella as well as the Lord of the Undead and his daughter Eva take center stage here, battling a slew of Halloween horrors (including a Wendigo!). There are enough monsters in this one 40-page issue to populate seven old Universal films, and each brings a special threat to our trio.

Of course, the real threat here for the Bat Brigade is the danger this Doomsday Cult may release one of the Elder Gods back upon the Earth. From threat to threat, the three warriors race to stop a potential apocalypse.

One thing is for certain, and I say this without spoilers: You will never guess the ending!

I love it how some comics companies celebrate one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, with special issues of their horror titles. It reminds me of a simpler time (at least in memory) when we read comics not to critique their closeness to their cinematic cousins (often starring the same characters these days) but just to witness the incredible and to have fun.

And the Vampirella Halloween Special is fun!

Artist Dietrich Smith captures a great old school style here, reminiscent of the horror comics of the 1950s. But this is not your granddad’s vampire comic, and there is more than a modernistic story approach here as Vampirella, Drac and Eva fight to save the population they feed upon.

This Halloween, Dynamite spells “fun” V-A-M-P-I-R-E!


Dynamite Entertainment Announces Toys and Games Division

Press Release

Dynamite Entertainment Expands with New Division
Dynamite Toys and Games

September 30, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ – Dallas Toy Fair Announcement:  Dynamite Entertainment, a leading publisher of original and licensed comic books, graphic novels, and e-books, proudly announces the creation of a new division, Dynamite Toys and Games, dedicated to the production and manufacture of action figures, novelty products, gaming cards, board games, and more.

“With our tenth anniversary coming up in 2014, the time is right to expand into new categories, develop cool collectibles based upon our many company-owned and licensed characters, and grow our business to incorporate exciting new licenses,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite.  “Dynamite is currently ranked as the sixth most prominent supplier of comics and graphic novels to Diamond Comic Distributors, North America’s leading distributor to the comic shop specialty market.  With significant gains in the sale of ancillary product such as toys, novelties, and games into brick-and-mortar comics and specialty stores, the market is ripe for expansion, and as an established and trusted supplier to our retail partners, Dynamite will prove to be a leader in the creation and marketability of original and licensed merchandise.  Our experience with manufacturing 3D products, including our successful licensed statues, inspired this expansion.  We have been building toward Dynamite Toys and Games for several years, waiting for a special occasion to re-enter the 3D market, and our tenth anniversary is that moment.”

Initial planned releases include the following properties:

The Six Million Dollar Man 40th Anniversary

Chaos Comics, via the reintroduced Eternal Toys brand

Red Sonja

Army of Darkness


“Our anniversary in 2014 will see some exciting new releases, including action figures, a statue, and novelties relating to The Six Million Dollar Man, timed to celebrate the character’s 40th anniversary,” says Barrucci.  Leading into 2015, Dynamite Toys and Games plans to grow organically, building upon licensing partnerships, revealing new licenses throughout the coming year, as well as developing a new line of figures based on their popular horror character Vampirella, reflecting the character’s forty-five years of publication.  The toy division will also reinstate the Eternal Toys brand, associated in the 1990s with the Chaos Comics library of characters, for limited edition reissues of classic sculpts, including such action figures as Evil Ernie, Chastity, Jade, Lady Demon, Purgatori, and more.

“We have broad plans for Dynamite Toys and Games,” says Barrucci.  “Our initial plans and projections for action figures, novelties, gaming cards, board games, calendars, t-shirts, plush products, and more has everyone involved very excited.  Our licensing arrangements allow for manufacture and distribution through numerous channels both domestic and international.  Retailers and fans worldwide can expect to see themed promotions moving forward, including such genre-based themes as Dynamite Women, science fiction, fantasy, sword and sorcery, magic, horror, and so much more.  Our expansion here into new markets will pave the way for Dynamite’s explosive second decade as a top entertainment and merchandise supplier, and I couldn’t be more excited.”


Exclusive Interview: Nate Cosby Spins A Web Of Mystery, Murder Down South In New Vampirella Mini

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8009:]]As if she were not busy enough elsewhere, the comics industry’s most iconic horror heroine will be venturing down South in a new five-issue limited series, Vampirella: Southern Gothic, arriving in stores in August.

A tale of dark magic and mystery set against a Mississippi backdrop, the series features the writing talent of Nate Cosby and illustrations by Jose Luis. The first issue will be available in two cover editions: an art edition by Johnny Desjardins, and Subscription-Only photo variant featuring model Kitana Baker.

After seeing the photo variant, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer was most anxious to exclusively discuss the book (and perhaps the cover model?) with Cosby.

Cosmic Book News: Nate, tell us how this miniseries came about.

Nate Cosby: That’s all Dynamite’s fault! I’d been talking to Joe Rybandt and Nick Barrucci about doing some stuff for them … they had me write a Green Hornet one-shot, and I assume they didn’t hate it, because Vampirella was the next thing they offered me. I think this may actually be the first miniseries I’ve ever written.

CBN: We hear you are from Mississippi. Tell us how this adventure came to be down in your neck of the woods.

Nate Cosby: It’s set in Mississippi because I’m a coward. I knew essentially nothing about Vampirella before I started researching, so I figured if I’m going to get to know this character, I might as well bring her down to somewhere I’m familiar. As a kid, I always loved reading comics set in the South; most stuff’s set in a big city or space, etc. Not tons of kudzu in Batman or Flash stories.

CBN: I myself am from Kentucky, so at least I get the kudzu ref. (laughs) So … when Vampirella’s mini first begins, she encounters a demon. Tell us about this big-bad as well as the strange wound it inflicts on our heroine.

Nate Cosby: DEMONS, plural. A TON of ‘em, not just one big-bad. Vampi’s caught in a routine fight with demons that seem like pushovers, until she’s gotta fight an ocean of them. And something happens to her that’ll affect her for the rest of the story.

CBN: Nate, the story is there might be a little romance with an old flame down in the South. What can you tell us about this?

Nate Cosby: A fun thing about Vampi is her messed-up origins and past. She can remember SOME things, but other stuff’s a bit foggy. She distinctly remembers an extended encounter with a private detective named Jacob. They met each other at the right time, when both were unsure of themselves … but they were both stubborn, and it wasn’t meant to be. But now Jacob’s called Vampi because he’s done something bad. He’s lost something that only she can help him to get back.

CBN: Will this miniseries be isolated for new readers or will it fit into the overall Vampirella continuity?

Nate Cosby: I’m not looking to upset the apple cart. This’ll tuck nicely into the ongoing book’s continuity, but people that’ve never even heard of Vampirella will be able to read this easily.

CBN: Besides healing herself of course, what other mysteries will your protagonist find down South? We hear there might be a murder involved?

Nate Cosby: There’s a BUNCH of murders. Problem is, all of the murders have been done to ONE person. That’s the main problem … a particular person’s been murdered dozens of times and comes back, except this last time. She’s stayed dead, and Vampi’s gotta figure out why.


CBN: Are there any Vampirella stories from past adventures that are your favorites? Some of whose strands may rear their heads is this adventure?

Nate Cosby: Honestly, I’d never read a Vampirella issue before getting this gig. But I was able to go back and read a bunch of them by some great creators.

CBN: What does the art of Jose Luis bring to the table? Are you a fan of his work and why was he right for this assignment?

Nate Cosby: Yeah! When Joe (my editor) told it was gonna be Jose, I was pumped! His stuff’s got great pop and life to it. It’s motivated me to give him a bunch of fun, pulpy, sweaty stuff to draw.

CBN: Can you tell us of any circumstances from this mini that may spin out into other parts of Vampirella’s mythos?

Nate Cosby: Well, continuity’s always a slippery thing, so I can’t say that direct effects of this tale will be felt elsewhere. But there’ll be a few sacrifices made, and Vampi has some pretty messed-up experiences. So we’ll have to see where things stand after Issue #5.

CBN: Nate, do you have any projects new or in the future that you would like to discuss?

Nate Cosby: Sure! I’ve got Cow Boy Unconquerable coming from Archaia later this year. It’s the sequel to mine and Chris Eliopoulos’ Eisner Award-nominated book about a 10-year-old bounty hunter rounding up his entire outlaw family. Pretty excited about it, and you’ll notice some similarities between it and some of the characters in Southern Gothic. Because I can’t seem to stop telling Southern stories.

Cosmic Book News thanks Nate Cosby for taking time from his busy schedule and before the holiday weekend to answer our nosy M.E. We also thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

“Vampirella: Southern Gothic” #1 (of 5) will hit store shelves in August!


Dynamite Announces Vampirella: Southern Gothic

Press Release





May 24, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ – By popular demand, Dynamite Entertainment is proud to expand their beloved VAMPIRELLA line with a new five-part miniseries, entitled VAMPIRELLA: SOUTHERN GOTHIC.  A tale of dark magic and mystery set against a Mississippi backdrop, the series features the writing talent of Nate Cosby and illustrations by Jose Luis.  The first issue will hit store shelves in August 2013, available in two cover editions: an art edition by Johnny Desjardins, and Subscription-Only photo variant featuring model Kitana Baker.

In VAMPIRELLA: SOUTHERN GOTHIC #1, the industry’s most iconic horror heroine may not be prepared — even after a lifetime of fighting vampires, aliens, magicians, and monsters — for the evil that lurks on the shores of the Mississippi.  As the story begins, Vampirella confronts a demon whose blue blade leaves her with a glowing, mystical wound.  Heading to the Deep South to recover, she is reunited with an old flame… and finds herself drawn into a murder mystery thick with old time religion and blood, blood, blood.

“The South’s my wheelhouse.  I’m from Mississippi, and figured I’d bring the vampire down to my home,” says writer Nate Cosby, whose critically-acclaimed recent works, COW BOY and JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER, have been nominated for Eisner and Harvey Awards, respectively.  “The South is a strange, beautiful, frustrating place.  It wears some of its history like a chip on its shoulder, and it tucks other parts of history away.  It’s a good setting for the noir-ish potboiler I wanted to write.”[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8007:]]

While the SOUTHERN GOTHIC series stands on its own, completely accessible to new readers, Cosby assures that the tale will fit faithfully into the overall VAMPIRELLA mythos, as pioneered by many of the industry’s top talent.  “There’s a surprising amount of great writers that have told VAMPIRELLA stories in the past.  In prepping for this series, I read tales by Kurt Busiek, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, and many others.  What I liked was that they were all different takes on this fun, dark, sometimes-campy character.  She’s got a malleability that allows creators to take her central vampire conceit and spin off into all different sorts of stories and storytelling. “

VAMPIRELLA: SOUTHERN GOTHIC #1 is solicited in the Diamond June Previews catalog for release in August.  Johnny Desjardins, whose artwork on the current VAMPIRELLA STRIKES miniseries has gained him a dedicated following, will contribute the Main cover edition, while fan-favorite VAMPIRELLA model poses for the Subscription-Only photo variant, limited only to retailer initial orders as a reward for dedicated Dynamite fans.

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About Dynamite Entertainment:

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more!

Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent!

Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.


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.


How Do These Fully Clothed Superheroines Look? Wonder Woman, Supergirl, More

Comic Books are known for their scantily clad dressed superheroes and super villains, more so with the female characters.

However, what if they resembled life a little more and were fully dressed?

One artist did just that.

Michael Lee Lunsford came up with the following designs to see what the female superheroes would look like if they were full clothed and stayed true to the design of their original costumes.

Below you can check out designs for Black Canary, Power Girl, Psylocke, Elektra, Supergirl, Vampirella, Wonder Woman and Zatanna.


Review: Vampirella #4

picWriter:  Eric Trautman

Artist: Wagner Reis & Fabniano Neves

Colorist:  Inlight Studio

Publisher:  Dynamite Entertainment