REVIEW: Vampirella Year One No.5

By | February 14, 2023

Comic book heads tend to have a habit of reading legacy titles under specific storylines or specific writer’s or penciller’s that they deem superior to others. Vampirella has been around since racial epithets were allowed to fly in comics like capes in the wind so that makes it even more ironic that Christopher Priest (a supremely melaninated scribe) is showing no signs of stopping with this GOAT run of Vampirella’s new backstory – and it’s far from finished.

Priest has Vampi lamping in B.V.I. awaiting the birth of her and Dracula’s child (which doesn’t exactly add up since Dracula was revealed to be homosexual and against he and Vampi’s “Unholy” union, but I slept on that Unholy series after Priest left the main Vampirella so I must be missing something here, but I digress) while she’s still recounting tale’s of her past to the fetus in her womb. The previous issues focused on Vampi growing up on Drakulon, and here in the fifth, Vampi finally touches down on Earth in the late sixties to continue her tale.
As Priest scripts, Gunduz is able to capture Vampi’s legendary sex symbol status : translating the glow of an expectant mother to a kick-ass femme fatale busting out of prison cells in a hospital gown like Milla Jovovich in a Resident Evil flick.

Gunduz’ somber colors of the night sky as Vampi takes flight with wings (a rare sight in most other Vampi titles that should be a staple from here on out) are a stark contrast to Vampi’s inner monologues that Priest curates with sarcasm and cynicism in regards to the serious topic of pollution and the state of the Earth due to the interference of humanity. When Vampi sucks blood and refers jokingly to the donor packs as snacks and makes references to unintelligible security guards offering her a “side of fries”, one can’t help but look at Vampi fighting for her survival as a parasite as a metaphor to human nature as society collectively guts this planet for all it’s worth.

A constant and inherent like Vampi using her natural wings instead of flying on air. Vampirella Year One deals heavily with the topic of parasite-host relationships that must find a balance. From Timpano’s “pregnancy cravings” cover to the close, the metaphor is sobering, allowing the reader something to chew on, but by no means does it distract from the action or the pure sexiness expected from your average Dynamite Entertainement title, which Vampirella Year One can easily give a run for it’s money.

With the name drop of Victory (and the poor excuse of not seeing her in the title) one can only keep their fingers crossed that Priest is in development of a new title featuring her in the front for once instead of the daughters of Lilith who cannot grow a Natural … but until something along the lines of that is announced, praisers of Priest and Gunduz’ works can and will be satisfied with this title featuring two artists effortlessly performing in their prime.

Score : 5/5

(W) Christopher Priest (A) Ergun Gunduz, Giovanni Timpano (CA) Lucio Parrillo