I get a lot of comics. Well at least it seems that way each month when the box arrives and I look at the bill. So I have to keep my list down to 25 or less titles. There are times something has to give to get a new title. That is what happened to Dark Shadows Vampirella. I got the title because the pairing struck me as amusing but after three issues the joke wore thin and better reviewed titles like Think Tank were coming available. So the ax fell on DSV. If funds were unlimited I’d keep it, but alas they are not and the magic number of 25 must be maintained even if it means staking Vampirella and Barnabas through the heart.
First the legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
Now to give credit to the creative team – Marc Andreyko, Writer – Patrick Berkenkotter, Illustrator Issues 1 & 2 – Jose Malaga, Illustrator Issue 3, Thiago Ribeiro, Colorist – Troy Peteri, Letterer – Covers by Fabiano Neves – and Special Thanks to Jim Pierson.
The story centers on a vampire killing in NYC. Barnabas has vowed as part of his penitence for the years of killing he did before he gained control of his powers to watch over his victims’ families protecting their descendants. Vampirella is put on the case by her just started wearing drag detective friend. Well I really don’t think it’s a drag queen detective but from the art it appears that way.
We eventually get the meeting of the two heroic Vamps. Holding to comic book tradition they have to fight first then team-up. I thought great we got the fanboy ‘what if Barnabas and Vamp fought who’d win’ battle out of the way but no, oh no I couldn’t be so lucky. The whole story is follow the comic book crossover book of cliches. The sidekicks like each other and mock their respective partners. For me the joke of the liberated vampire woman and the Victorian vampire man team up wore thin before the third issue.
Sure like I said if funds were no problem I’d hold on for the few laughs an issue offers, sometimes it’s fun to mock the cliches by OVER doing them with the sidekicks. But alas this is not to be. When a culling had to happen to let in better written titles, this was the weakest on the list.
As for the art – I prefer Berkenkotter’s style for Dark Shadows, it’s more the line intensive old comic style. It’s a great style except for the unfortunate depiction of the female/drag wannabe queen detective. Still over all I prefer his style for this tale over Malaga’s more modern superhero style. I think the tale of an ancient evil vampire fighting two well established vampires deserves a more classic treatment. No disrespect to Malaga’s art I just think I’d enjoy him more on a superhero tale. I will say he can do excellent comic nudes…
The covers are okay. I can’t say I’m swept off my feet by them. Vampirella broke her back for issue one so she could give us a T&A ‘Kay’s Open Heart’ pose. Really living backs can’t don that I don’t think the undead that aren’t zombies can either. If a zombie did it I’d suspect it couldn’t stand, due to becoming a paraplegic from the broken spine. As for the other two covers, I like them. They are nice. Just not WOWZERS for me.
So alas poor Dark Shadows Vampirella I knew them, Horatio: a couple of infinite jest, of most excellent cliched fantasy. (with my deepest apologies to the Bard)
You know what’s next ***POSSIBLE SPIOLERY SCANS*****
Until next time!