Friday, 4 September 2015

Vampirella/Army Of Darkness #2 - Dynamite Entertainment

Whilst Tony Fleecs’ cute chibi-like variant cover illustration, depicting a doe-eyed Vampirella playfully supping upon the bloody innards of some enormous beast, is arguably somewhat charmingly appealing. There is little else about this twenty-page periodical which is, despite the second instalment of the much-hyped four-issue mini-series consisting of little more than “Army Of Darkness” protagonist Ash Williams battling a demonic-looking Vampirella amongst the corridors and great hall of a Medieval castle.

Indeed, rather disappointingly, this ludicrously long and painfully pointless confrontation is a far cry from “the battle you’ve always wanted to see” which “Dynamite Entertainment” promised with this title, and instead appears to simply consist of a number of contrived farcical scenes which presumably Mark Rahner thought would somehow amuse his readers. Sadly none of the veteran journalist’s humorous sequences are in any way “hilarious” nor provide much in the way of “slapstick action”.

Admittedly watching Sam Raimi’s creation spend a staggering nineteen panels throwing everything from wine bottles, codpieces and even a ‘rubber’ chicken at the red-skinned winged monstrosity is enough to wring a wry smile from even the most forlorn horror fan. But sadly what follows next within the pop culture critic’s narrative is so confusingly nonsensical that any momentary enjoyment of this “Boomstick verses fangs” ‘team-up’ instantaneously evaporates as the bat-like demoness, having spent the best part of the comic book trying to eat Ash, suddenly asks “The Evil Dead” exorcist for help and blames a mispronounced incantation from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis for bringing Forrest J. Ackerman’s vampire super-heroine back in time to the Middle Ages.

Equally as dire as Rahner’s absurd storyline, which is incomprehensively resolved simply by the castle’s Wiseman tearing out the offending incantation from the Book of the Dead and letting Vampirella eat the squealing piece of parchment, is the unattractive artwork of Jethro “Jett” Morales. “The regular monthly artist on Green Hornet for Dynamite” is certainly capable of giving his pictures some dynamic pace as the “monstrously transformed Vampi… tear[s] through the medieval castle”. However neither the scantily-clad seductress or the chainsaw-wielding zombie-killer are terribly recognisable from the Philippines-based penciller’s drawings and much of the “emerging new” artist’s sketches are painfully inconsistent with one another; possibly to the point where the only “chills aplenty” to be found within this New Jersey publication are the wretched illustrations.
The regular cover art of "VAMPIRELLA/ARMY OF DARKNESS" No. 2 by Tim Seeley and Alec Guimaraes


  1. It grieves me to say this but this whole series is simply dire! What a wasted opportunity to showcase two such iconic heroes. This is far and away the worst Vampirella story I have ever read. To say I am disappointed is a massive understatement.

    1. I've not read anything by Mark Rahner yet which I've liked, Bryan, and he single-handedly destroyed the new "Dynamite Entertainment" "Twilight Zone" ongoing series after just four-issues. Although the artwork for that wasn't good either.

      Interestingly though I have seen Morales' original pencils for some of "Vampirella/Army Of Darkness" and it looks really good (as does so much of his stuff), so I'm really not sure what's gone wrong between that stage and the published version. The man can definitely draw..!?!

  2. Seems a shame that such a great franchise like the "Evil Dead" is squandered. The good news is that they're making it into a TV series. Whoop! Whoop!

    1. Indeed it does Bob, though in my experience "Dynamite Entertainment" are very good at buying licences. But not terribly good at doing much with them - as this title shows. I saw a trailer for the TV series... very very good :-)