Vampironica #2 -Review

With Vampironica, Archie Horror is doing something that feels a little different. It almost feels like they’re creating a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic. The difference is that our protagonist is a vampire. I enjoyed the first issue more than I thought I would. When the second issue arrived in my inbox, I immediately gave it a read.

NOTICE: There may be a minor spoiler or two in this review.

Vampironica #2

Script: Greg and Megan Smallwood
Art: Greg Smallwood, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Covers: Francesco Francavilla, Robert Hack
On Sale Date: 5/30
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Solicitation:

NEW ONGOING SERIES! The smartest student at Riverdale High uncovers Veronica’s secret. Will he lend a helping hand or try to drive a stake through her heart?

Review:

I’m enjoying this series more than I thought that I would. For me, the Archie Horror line has been hit-or-miss. Afterlife With Archie never got past my distaste for zombie stories. Chilling Tales of Sabrina really captured a new horrific take on a character that always seemed displaced among the more grounded Archie characters. Jughead: the Hunger veered too far from the source material to capture my imagination. Vamperonica has managed to take characters rooted in the New Riverdale, not the classic Archie stories, and bring them into the realm of Horror.

Veronica is portrayed consistently. Her evolution is natural, and very sympathetic. It makes sense for her to go to Archie first, but Betty would probably the second choice. Eventually pairing her with Dilton fulfills the trope of the vampire hunter genre, with the closest ally needed for the hero is someone with the knowledge needed to pursue the fight. It’s full of tropes, but the Smallwoods execute them in a way that works with the characters available to them.

The strength of the story is that it took characters familiar to us and played them realistically in this new situation. We hear writers constantly talk about characters writing themselves. This seems like one of those instances where it could be true. Veronica, especially in the New Riverdale, is prone to a spell of self-pity, but when presented with a problem, is capable of forming a plan of action.

The artwork is wonderfully moody. The limited color palette works so nicely and transitions between night and day very well. At times Veronica doesn’t look like herself, but more than not, everything works and stays steady and recognizable. The choice of scenes is very pedestrian except when it comes to the horrific shots. I’d like to see more emphasis placed on scenes where Veronica is demonstrating vampiric abilities. Overall, though, the art works.

I’ll continue to read this title. I recommend it to Archie fans, and to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It has a feel much like that series. For fans of Horror comics, I’d recommend it for a try.

Final rating: 8.5 (out of 10)

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