Pool Party from Pergatory: Vampironica #4

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Vampironica 4

I'm late to the party with the VAMPIRONICA series -- another reimagining of the Archie universe with a horror filter. I'm late on purpose, because I'm still nursing the wounds of having become addicted to AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE and CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, only to have both of those rugs yanked out from under me, with no hope in hell of ever seeing either of those stories reach anything resembling a satisfying conclusion. I didn't want it to happen again, so I've not invested myself in any more Archie horror titles -- which, yes, means I have not read any of THE HUNGER, either.

But, it was a Halloween event at my local comics store, and I wasn't taken this week with any of the usual superhero fare, which has been becoming less and less appealing over the last few years. So, feeling generous and in the holiday spirit, I gave the latest VAMPIRONICA a shot.

To start with, I think that it's cosmic perfection that a horror title is edited by a guy named Victore Gorelick. I was also happy to see the names Greg and Meg Smallwood attached as writers, and Greg Scott as the artist -- because none of them are attached to write any televised versions of the Riverdale characters, so there's a better than even shot that they'll actually complete their story arc. (No, I'm not bitter at all.)

The story so far finds Veronica Lodge having been turned into a vampire. But I guess the title gave that bit away. It turns out that quite a good chunk of Riverdale has been turned into vampires. Reggie, Moose, Midge -- even Veronica's parents. Archie, Betty and Dilton have joined forces with Veronica to save the town, but they can't just go staking every set of fangs in town. (Ooh, I wonder if Fangs Fogerty got turned? That would be ironic!) For one thing, staking actually kills a vampire, and the gang's goal is to save them by drawing out the Master Vampire and killing him -- thus releasing all the other vampires, Veronica included, from their curse.

But the question, it turns out, is finding out who that master truly is.

The Smallwood team has chruned out a pretty clever tale, taking the path of familiar vampire lore where the turned can be saved, which gives the readers some hope to glom onto. Gerg Scott's artwork is nicely realistic while still holding true to the look of the Archie house style characters we've all grown up with. And the ending finally pits Veronica against a foe who is truly going to be formidable.

Which means you should pick up this issue, and you have a good 30 days to hunt up the previous three issues so you're all caught up before the final chapter of this story comes out.

4.5 / 5.0