After being infected by the lady of shadows, a demonic entity, Vampirella has become a major threat to both the planet and herself. The shadow demon will slowly consume her mind, and eventually take over and bring Chaos demons to Earth. Worse yet, her vampire hunting allies have decided to take her out. What could possibly make her situation worse? Eviction!
Nancy A. Collins’s Vampirella 2 starts off very strong, with Vampirella already showing signs of the lady of shadows taking over her mind when she attacks her landlord over an eviction notice. She’s also having nightmares, and then comments on how she’s not used to having said nightmares. She’s also burned by holy water, which apparently didn’t affect her before. There’s a great action scene about half-way through, showcasing how adept and hardened the vampire hunters are.
Where this issue falters is when the plot exposition begins. The story remains interesting, and the brief discussion on the origin of vampires in this universe works well. But the dialogue from Drago, a Nosferatu vampire, is a bit clunky. There’s an awkward “as you know” line that could have easily been replaced by some sort of internal narration, and he spouts a few cliché phrases that make him feel formulaic. That’s not to say he won’t improve in future issues, but there’s nothing special about him here.
For the most part, Patrick Berkenkotter’s art is good. There’s a lot of detail on various characters, and great use of backgrounds to add atmosphere to the mood. The nightmare scene is complete with a foggy cemetery, grey lighting and a rotting corpse that looks kind of frightening. Vampirella’s facial expressions are very good and varied, and the burn mark from the dark ritual in issue 1 is fairly convincing as a deep burn. Drago is just as ugly as you’d hope a Nosferatu would be, with his off-colour skin, enlarged ears and veins protruding from his forehead. While her battle outfit is very skimpy, Vampirella is usually drawn in natural poses rather than cheesecake. However there’s one panel where she’s knocked down and her breasts are shaped awkward.
Despite its flaws, this is a good horror comic. It blends vampire action and other supernatural forces well, and the dark atmosphere. I can’t say whether it’s true to Vampirella’s character since I haven’t read her before Nancy A. Collins took over, but it’s been easy to follow so far. If you’re into vampires, this is definitely worth checking out.