Vampirella Vs Aliens! That comic sells itself!

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Yep. ALIENS/VAMPIRELLA! A comic no one would have ever thought to ask for, but once you hear the title, you can’t help but want to check it out. At least it’s not another zombie book…

In case you are a casual fan, the monsters from the ALIEN franchise are called Xenomorphs, and that is what I refer to them throughout this review.  Also the VAMPIRELLA universe has a bunch of different vampire types.  In recent issues of her series, she was made Queen of the Nosferatu, who basically look like creepy vampires from the old movies.


ALIENS/VAMPIRELLA #1

Written by: Corinna Bechko
Art by: Javier Garcia-Miranda
Cover by: Gabriel Hardman
Colored by: InLight Studios
Lettered by: Simon Bowland

Published by: Dark Horse/Dynamite
Cover Price: $3.99

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

In this story, Vampirella is asked to come to a base on Mars to investigate a dormant Nosferatu nest. With some of the base’s crew, she descends into tunnels under the base, and they are soon attacked by Facehuggers. The rest of the base quarantines them down below to prevent anyone else from getting infected. During that time, they all incubate little Xenomorphs, and the issue ends with one bursting right out of Vampirella’s chest.

From the first page, Javier Garcia-Miranda grabbed my attention by drawing just about the scariest version of a Xenomorph that I have ever seen. There was just a ton of details in the opening splash page with a Xenomorph terrorizing some Nosferatu. Starting a comic with a crazy action sequence with a gorgeous splash page will pretty much always grab me.

I was a little disappoint that they played this one so straight. Vampirella goes to Mars to fight aliens could be such a fun campy story. But instead, the story we got was just a little too stiff. None of the Vampirella’s typical sarcastic wit was on display. Even the characters’ reactions to her was a bit subdued. They seem impressed by her, maybe even a little frightened, but Vampirella usually draws a much bigger reaction. Really, there is nothing wrong with this comic, I was just expecting a little more fun and craziness.

The writing here is still very solid. The dialogue is a little wordy, but I still found most of it engaging. I also thought the comic accessible for someone who might not be all that familiar with Vampirella or the Aliens franchise. Anyone can just jump right in here. I also thought the ancillary characters were all real well developed. They all had personalities and their own back stories. It wasn’t anything all that complex, but just enough to make you feel some connections to these characters, and care that they are about to die in a brutal way.

For me, the real selling point of this issue was the art. Garcia-Miranda captured the setting and mood perfectly. You know you are in for a horror book here. He also drew the Nosferatu and the Xenomorphs perfectly. I could gripe that Vampirella was dressed down for most of this comic and not quite her usual sexy self. But really that would not have fit the story all that well. Besides, Vampirella has been dressing a lot more subdued in her own comic recently, which makes a lot of sense. It’s a far different time than when she was created. The current version of Vampirella can be strong and sexy without having to wear some thin strings of cloth and call it clothing.

I also appreciated that they got the story rolling real quick. For a six-issue series, we already got to see Xenomorphs fighting vampires, Xenomorphs infecting humans, and a great final image of an alien bursting out of Vampirella. It really makes me wonder what they can do for an encore. We still have five more issues coming!

I also liked that they get you started with a bit of a mystery. The opening scene starts with a Xenomorph attacking some Nosferatu dressed in hoodies. It is not clear who they are, or even where this takes place. The comic shifts quickly to Vampirella arriving on the Mars base. They never put the opening scene in any real context which makes me think there is a lot more to this story that we realize.

This was an enjoyable first issue. A little dry and dialogue heavy, but I still liked it quite a bit and will be curious to see where we go from here.

 

Title: ALIENS/VAMPIRELLA #1
Written By: Corinna Bechko
Art By: Javier Garcia-Miranda
Company: Dark Horse/Dynamite
Price: $3.99
Pros:
  • The art is great and sets the tone perfectly
  • Really well developed characters
  • Accessible for new readers to either franchise
Cons:
  • Was not quite as fun as it could have been
  • A little dialouge heavy
Is it worth your $3.99? Yes. While it played the whole thing a little too seriously, it is still a very well written and drawn comic.  I am not going to hold my own expectations against it.  
Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0