Saturday, 3 October 2015

Vampirella/Army Of Darkness #3 - Dynamite Entertainment

It’s all too easy to see why Mark Rahner has described his process for writing this comic’s script as “if I were possessed and unable to fight the urge to spew it out”. For his mini-adventure’s drearily dull and unconvincing narrative is not only a confusing mess due to its over-reliance upon its audience having a comprehensive knowledge of “the events of the Army Of Darkness movie”. But it is also based upon the implausible premise that the medieval community which Ash finds himself residing within, are perfectly happy to court the friendship of vampires, just not witches; “Would you help us first in exchange? We would be in your debt.”

Indeed the vast majority of the veteran journalist’s tedious twenty-page long storyline involves the feudal “knuckle-draggers” simply putting Vampirella on trial and then talking as Black Friar Thomas, “recently returned from doing the Lord’s work in France”, compels the female blood drinker to endure a series of barbaric tests in order to prove she is not “a demon temptress”. Frustratingly however even when the super-heroine does somehow fail to blister despite immersing her arm within a cauldron of boiling holy water, her superstitious captors still quiz their “immodest” prisoner by enchanting “the dreaded” Necronomicon to “cry out when an untruth is spoken”; a plot device which surely makes the preceding tribunal a superfluous farce..?

Issue Three of “Vampirella/Army Of Darkness” would also appear to be utterly devoid of any of the “slapstick and suspense. Chills [and] laughs” promised by Rahner during this title’s pre-publication advertising. In fact all of Ash’s nauseating wisecracks and over-the-top buffoonery whilst acting as “a defense attorney” for “the daughter of Lilith” provides little actual entertainment and instead simply demonstrates just how badly the Seattle-based podcaster has mishandled scripting Bruce Campbell’s cinematic character.

Just as disappointing as the disheartening storyline has to be Jethro Morales’ inconsistent and decidedly poor artwork. Described by his fellow storyteller as an illustrator who’s “work just keeps getting better”, it is genuinely hard to fathom just how unimpressively bad the “emerging young artist” must once have been. Although having seen Jett’s original pencilling for this comic book, it is abundantly clear that something quite catastrophic has occurred to his well-rendered sketches between their drawing and subsequent publication.
The variant cover art of "VAMPIRELLA/ARMY OF DARKNESS" No. 3 by Tony Fleecs


  1. As Vampirella's biggest fan, is there anything at all that I like about this series? Well, the front covers aren't bad. But everything else is utter garbage! I have never been so disappointed with a Vampirella story as I have with this one. Both Vampi and Ash have been treated appallingly badly by writer, artist, inker and colourist. Your review is spot on, Simon.

    1. Just one more issue to go, Bryan and then it'll be over :-) Although as I say, its well worth looking at some of Morales' original pencils as it genuinely looks to be infinitely better than what was published and this comic may well have been better served being printed in black and white and using just that. Some of it is for sale here: