Savage Tales: Vampirella #1
Written by Erik Burnham, Doug Murray
Art by Anthony Marques, J. Bone, Fernando Ruiz, Daniel HDR, Lui Antonio
Colors by Mohan, Inlight Studio
Letters by Tom Napolitano, Simon Bowland
Cover by Robert Hack
Release Date: May 9, 2018
Cover Price: $4.99
So here’s the deal, I am a Vampirella fan. I have been for years and I doubt that will ever change. But after several decades, the stories are starting to blend together. Not to say that I didn’t like Savage Tales: Vampirella #1 but it has some predictable plot points to it.
For instance, the first two pages have been repeated so often in a variety of the character’s comics that I actually am starting to believe that if she doesn’t wake up confused and unsure of how she got there that the entire story will fall apart. For such a powerful being, she sure does end up unconscious and bewildered quite often.
There is the inevitable moment when she discovers that she is going to have to seek the powers that control the innocents and she is obviously the only one who can save them all. The battle ensues and she emerges victorious, though she often finds herself with another in a long line of archenemies. Her proclivities include subterfuge and misdirection along with her need to feed upon humans. She is a vampire, you know.
Lest I seem overly critical, let me continue by saying that this systematic story arc concept is not unique to Vampirella. Instead, it is a focused version of what many characters endure: rote plot lines. Nearly every long-term character has suffered from this, including my two favorite characters: Conan the Cimmerian and Sherlock Holmes. The stories are varied enough that you can ignore the repetitions, in most cases. But hey, who am I to judge, right?
All things considered, this one-shot is fun and fulfills its agenda. The writing is clear and the story progresses nicely. The artwork is a bit juvenile and lacks a lot of detail but it feels okay for this comic. By the time it wraps up, you get a good idea of who she is and what she wants, so new readers will not be lost at any point.
There is a second story that was even more transparent than the primary one. This additional tale, “Valaka,” is not one featuring Vampirella, but has been published before and is probably there just to provide filler for the increased cover price. If I had to describe it then I would probably use the word “myeh.” It was significantly underwhelming on every level.
The comic is a win because it features a favorite character of mine. It does not break new ground and it will not have people talking about it for years to come, but it is fun. If you have ever had an interest in Vampirella but never jumped on board, try it out. You will get a good glimpse of what she is all about. Long time collectors will want it because we are like that and pseudo-fans will find it very hit or miss, nothing too commitment worthy at all. Check it out if you feel inclined, save your money if not. I do not feel strongly about it either way.
A dead city in the middle of a world filled with violent barbarians is the last place Vampirella would expect to find herself, but here she is – and there’s no time for introspection, because someone is out for her blood! She may be lost in a kill-or-be-killed world filled with swords and sorcery, but she still knows how to hold her own… and when she finds out who has it in for her, she’s going to prove it.