|VAMPIRELLA No. 1, March 2017|
Described by Paul Cornell as the “first issue proper” of “Vampirella”, this twenty-two page periodical must have utterly bemused any reader foolish enough to have thought they could miss the title’s previously published “teaser” edition. For whilst the comic’s script definitely contains the sassy, smart-mouthed she-vampire clearly demonstrating her dislike of incivility, impoliteness and a serious thirst for the blood of the unjust, it perturbingly starts with the titular character clawing her way up from some “caves under paradise” and immediately confronting a literal army of heavily armoured flying angels which supposedly “stink of hell.”
Admittedly, this bewilderingly futuristic introduction to the series is somewhat clarified by way of a brief summary of events at the top of the book’s opening credits. But so small an explanatory text box really is rather easily overlooked, and resultantly causes the Chippenham-born novelist’s narrative to instantly become utterly unfathomable and the iconic blood-drinker almost unrecognisable; especially when she subsequently adopts a short-haired look with “dull clothes” in order to not “blend in.”
Equally as disorientating is the professional author’s increasingly aggravating insistence on having Vampirella’s additional thoughts annotated along the bottom of each page, and some astoundingly contrived leaps of logic. Why, for example, having completely surrounded Forrest J. Ackerman’s super-heroine, do the countless numbers of sci-fi sword-wielding knights simply allow her to lose them by flying off into the sky and seeking shelter amidst the ruins of Mount Rushmore? The winged warriors are clearly capable of following the female blood-drinker, and have much to avenge on account of the former “horror-story hostess” literally ripping the limbs of off some of their comrades-in-arms…
Jimmy Broxton’s scratchy illustrations are sadly just as off-putting as this comic’s storyline, with the “UK based graphic artist” seemingly trying to emulate the look of Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 dystopian crime film “A Clockwork Orange”. Such an instantly distinguishable look, complete with a plethora of phallic clothing accessories, would arguably have caused many of this magazine’s older audience to become somewhat nostalgically sympathetic to what the penciller (and colorist) was striving to achieve. Yet not even a plethora of diverse “droogs” is, disappointingly, enough to help save what otherwise appears to be a very amateurish series of breakdowns.
|The regular cover art of "VAMPIRELLA" No. 1 by Philip Tan & Elmer Santos|