Vampironica #1 – Review
Archie Comics has a new addition to the Archie Horror line among its new releases this week, Vampironica. I shared an early look at it a month ago. I was excited at the time, and upon reading the preview Archie Comics sent out, I am still excited. Why, do you ask?
Script: Greg and Megan Smallwood
Art: Greg Smallwood, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Covers: Francesco Francavilla, Audrey Mok, Djibril Morrissette-Phan, Marguerite Sauvage
On Sale Date: 3/14/2018
32-page, full color comic
NEW ONGOING SERIES! When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her blood lust?
I like seeing traditional characters being put through vastly different stories.. The Archie characters’ charm was in how loosely they held to a strict continuity, and it’s nice to see that even with “the New Riverdale,” Archie Comics can do different things with their iconic characters. Greg and Megan Smallwood keep the characters true, but instead of remaining true to the world created by Mark Waid. I find this a welcome departure to the previous Archie Horror titles. They built more on the classic interpretations of the characters, and did wonderfully well with them.
The Smallwoods build a world and while populated with familiar faces, they quickly introduce the conflict of Veronica as a vampire hunter that is a vampire herself. It’s not an original concept, but it’s a good take to see this story told in such a wonderfully classic way. We’re immediately introduced to both our protagonist and the conflict, and then the beginning of the story is told. The characters stay true to their original roles, which mirror closer to the current Riverdale than the classic one, but keeps the details down to what we need. This Veronica is more sympathetic than the classic version, and her bond with Reggie is tenuous and one-sided at best.
The artwork is really nice and consistent. Smallwood does really good with pacing, giving the whole comic the feel of an episode of a television show. His color palette is nice and restrained, which is the par for an Archie Horror title. The pallet, however, doesn’t rely too heavily on reds. It stands out among the other Horror titles for this reason. I really like the artwork in this issue and hope that it keeps up with this level of quality.
Final Rating: 8.2 (out of 10) This feels very much like a television series episode. In that, it feels a little formulaic. It makes for familiarity, but also feels like I know where this is heading.