Vampirella Valentine's Day Special Goes Overboard in Cajun Country

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Vampi Valentine's Day Special

The Ergun Gunduz cover to Dynamite's VAMPIRELLA VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL almost justifies the $4.99 price sticker. Heck, it justifies at least seventy-five percent of it, so that's close enough. It's completely evocative of the cover artwork that used to grace Vampi's original series, back in the day when she was published in glorious black-and-white in magazine-size format.

The interiors by Maria Sanapo are a different style altogether. Not a bad style -- quite good, in fact -- but a different one that doesn't quite have Vampirella being as tall as one would expect. Of course, that's a matter of scale, so it could just be everyone else was pretty tall as well. Regardless, the pencils and inks were done in a quality comic-book style, with the colors by Ceci de la Cruz adding depth and dimension to everything.

Which leaves the writing. Props to Leah Williams for giving us a one-shot story that's one-and-done for this special. "Happy Valentin's Day" (the lack of the 'e' is intentional) finds Vampirella following up on a call for help to New Orleans on February, 13th, the last day of Mardi Gras. She comes face to face with a monster, which she dispatches after a nice fight scene. Then she finds the person who contacted her -- Val Boudreaux. You may want to call him Gambit, because he looks pretty much like the cajun X-Man. However, this is where the writing takes a real dip. Williams has Boudreaux so deeply cajun that even Remy would urge the boy to take it down a notch. He has a habit of perpetually ending his sentences with a pronoun. "Good actress, her." "But I just had to know if you were for true, me." It's like listening to Bayou Yoda.

Val has invited Vampi to Lousiana because there are a lot of monsters to be killed, and he wants to make a clean sweep of things -- all in one night. But there's one monster he hasn't told her about, and he's saving that one to be killed last. Of course, with the passing of midnight, they leave Mardi Gras and go right into Valentine's Day, which allows for an act of mercy and recognition of heroism. If we see Val Boudreaux in future adventures of Vampirella, this reviewer hopes the cadence is brought down to something far less distracting.

This special also includes a back-up story reprinted from 2005. "Matinee" by the legendary Michael Golden is a particularly twisted and layered short tale that sees three kids sneaking into a movie theater to watch a monster killing movie that takes place in a theater...while Vampirella is in the theater killing monsters. It has the unique kind of plot and ending that made the 70s comic book horror stories so much fun to read, and we could really use more of these.

Overall, for the introduction of a potentially useful recurring character, a classic reprint, nicely colorized interiors, and again, that suitable-for-framing cover, the VAMPIRELLA VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL is a title we can recommend looking into.

3.5 / 5.0