Vampirella's Second Issue Beautiful to Look At, Impossible to Follow

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Vampirella 50 Years #2

There's been a lot of hubbub and hullabaloo over the 50th anniversary celebration of Dynamite Comics' VAMPIRELLA. Getting Christopher priest onto the writing chores and having him backed up by Ergun Gunduz in the art department set expectations pretty high.

And while this new iteration of VAMPIRELLA has some intense scenes, and plays with some interesting notions and aspects of her life, all set to some absolutely brilliant and lush panel work from Gunduz, I can't help but feel that I'm jumping around to random pages from different stories.

When we closed out the first issue, Vampirella walked away from a plane crash, and we then see her baring her soul to some bizarre psychologist. In the last panels, we meet Vampirella's mother, Lilith.

And then we open this book, and we don't see Lilith anywhere. At all. Instead, we see a bored Vampirella get an electronic reminder that it's time to eat and do so by taking out some would-be rapists. Then she goes speed-dating and ends up in the arms of a new lesbian lover who picks her up in a cab after the session goes predictably horrible.

Okay, that's a progression I can at least follow, and goodness knows the fan service of the sex scenes will sell some books. But then Vampirella gets called away again. Now we learn she's in the employ of a group of nuns who hunt down evil creatures, carrying automatic weapons and wearing their habits over their KISS Army makeup. They take on some sort of demon cult, which may or may not lead into the next issue -- it looks like it will, given the after-action scene, but who knows?

The psychologist is the only real consistent thing between the two books, and that's because he's consistently inconsistent. Whereas last issue he was saying "There ain't no devil," this issue he's very much a believer in God and tells Vampirella she believes too, or she wouldn't do the things she does.

All good scenes, but none of them belonging to the same story. But maybe it's meant to be inconsistent. Maybe that's the clue that the overarching story is trying to reveal -- that it's all a dream or some mental prison, and we'll look back at this from the first issue forward and smack our heads over how obvious it should have been. But for now, it remains an attractive nuisance -- beautiful to look at, but makes you scratch your head hard enough to leave scars.

3.5 / 5.0