The accursed are three people who have sinned so badly that they’re cursed with immortality, to forever walk the earth with no chance of redemption or release until the end of time. In order to speed this up, they’ve joined forces to create a super rage plague that ties together science and magic. Vampirella 7 introduced the plague, and in Vampirella 8 and 9, they dealt with two of the accursed. This issue deals with the oldest of the accursed, Cain.
This story arc has been fantastic so far, blending intense action, fascinating mythology and the mystery behind the plague. The first half of this comic showcases Vampirella, along with her new allies, stopping the plague from spreading too far from an unspecified city. The scene builds from the inception of the plague spreading, along with a narration explaining Cain’s motives. It progresses into a chaotic riot too dangerous for even supernatural creatures to survive for long. Nancy A. Collins’s writing is fantastic, in both the dialogue and the narration.
The rest of the comic delves into Vampirella’s past, including her relationship to Lilith and the mutual connection that Cain has to the mother of vampires. It makes this issue feel more personal than the previous three, especially with the cliffhanger ending. I won’t spoil it, but people who haven’t read Vampirella: Feary Tales won’t fully grasp the impact.
The art by Patrick Berkenkotter is great. The generally dark, gritty appearance matches the story’s mood, yet there’s plenty of detail. The opening pages show Cain working his farm and selling his produce, helping to tell his part in creating and spreading the plague. The fight scenes are appropriately brutal and chaotic with the black liquid leaking from the plague victims, blood spraying and crazed expressions. While I’m not a fan of Vampirella’s very skimpy outfit, she’s never drawn in exploitive poses.
An already enjoyable story arc became all the more intense and personal with this issue. It’s worth noting that this isn’t really a vampire story, since Vampirella is the only bloodsucker with a significant amount of panel time, but this is a great horror comic. If anything in here sounds interesting to you at least give this a read.