Review: Vampirella #4

VampiVol2-04-Cov-DodsonVAMPIRELLA #4
Nancy A. Collins (w) 
Patrick Berkenkotter (a)
Terry Dodson, Jenny Frison (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+  
In a desperate attempt to fight Lady Umbra’s growing control over her mind and body, Vampirella and her unlikely new ally, Lord Drago, take a jaunt to the Mediterranean. There, on the Greek island of Lamos, famous for its unspoiled beaches and friendly natives, they search for the most ancient species of vampire in the world: the dreaded lamia of legend. But can Vampirella locate and slay the seductive half-serpent before her heart falls into shadow?

REVIEW:

I reviewed the second issue of this title, and was underwhelmed. It seemed to have some problems with the art. Upon first reading, I thought that there was a different artist, but Patrick Berkenkotter has stepped up his game from the second issue. While he still draws Vampirella’s costume a little too “cheeky” for my tastes, he does very well at capturing a mood in this story, even as it shifts from bright to sensual, and finally horrific. There are a few shots where I feel like he could have maximized the dramatic potential, instead of going for a centered, front and centered POV. However, even despite those instances, he doesn’t take away from the story and instead enhances it’s mood in places.

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Nancy Collins is ale to tell a complete story in this one issue, despite it being part of a larger, continuing storyline. She is also doing a great job of conveying some self-doubt in Vampirella as to the methods she must employ to accomplish her duty. She is bringing vampire mythology into Vampirella’s story, and I am actually intrigued to see where she goes with it, and what other types of vampires she uses in her stories. Will we see more modern interpretations of vampires show up in this greater story? The end of the story also gives us a gentle twist to the ending, one that I don’t want to spoil for anyone that feels like they want to check this out.

If you do check it out, I recommend picking up the Jenny Frison cover and not the Terry Dodson cover featured above. I don’t particularly care for Dodson’s work. He seems to have stalled in his obvious influence to Adam Hughes early, pre-Photoshop style. Jenny Frison’s cover is very iconic and moody, and doesn’t accentuate Vampirella’s sexuality like Dodson’s does.