Vampirella #3 Review

I’ve been impressed by the new Vampirella series from Dynamite. It harkens back to classic Vampirella stories with it’s setting more in the realm of science-fiction rather than horror, super-heroes, or bad girl comic book genres.

VAMPIRELLA VOL. 4 #3

Writer: Paul Cornell
Art: Jimmy Broxton
Cover Art: Philip Tan / Kenan Yarar / Jimmy Broxton
Format: Comic Book
32 Pages / Teen + /$3.99
ON SALE DATE: 5/31/2017

Welcome to The Clown Factory, the place where bad people go. If you’re lucky, you only have to serve hard labor there. If you’re unlucky…well, better not to get into that. And wait until you meet the Commandant! Don’t get on her bad side!

Review:

The story is wonderful in its unpredictable nature and how well Vampirella works in it as a protagonist. This particular issue works very well in it’s simplicity. We’re introduced to the Clown Factory, some of its other prisoners, and spend the rest of the issue watching various escape attempts. We get a few clues at the reasons Vampirella was revived, but I’m still pondering why precisely was it Vampirella? I would imagine that there had been attempts at resurrecting someone else, only to find them to be a myth. The only problem that I have with the simplicity of it all is that if I were a new reader, I’d be a little lost at some of the general setting of this story. It does drop securely into the middle of the story and as such, doesn’t stand completely on its own. If you simply take it for hat it is, it works as a standalone comic, but does get a little confusing if you look deeper.

That deeper meaning to this story is something that is not coming through despite peeks at it, especially in this issue. I get the sense that Paul Cornell is trying to make a social statement, and I sincerely hope that he is. The best futuristic science fiction doesn’t talk about the world of the future, but the world of the present. Something is being said here, but I’m just not sure exactly what the criticism is.

The artwork is impressive for a Dynamite comic, which has almost fallen into a house style. Jimmy Broxton’s art has, as always, that feeling that you would find in the old Warren magazines, although here, it reminds me more of Robert Hack, from the Archie Horror comics. At times, it does seem to rely a little too heavy on photo reference, with several panels seeming less organic in their flow. I still like it better than than the naturalistic norm over at Marvel and DC. If I still had time to do Artist of the Week, Broxton would have been profiled.

The Jimmy Broxton variant cover received some negative attention for some paste up text that since has been removed. I would really like some recognition of the cosplay model, though. Vampirella started a craze in the 1990s for models dressed at conventions, so it seems natural for a cosplay variant cover to be there, and it shows the difference in taste this look has for a character so defined for her revealing costume. Whenever cosplayers are used for something that will benefit the publisher, I would like to see them credited.

Overall, I like this issue more than the last, but not as much as the first two.

Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)

Variant Covers: