Vampirella Blank Comic Book #1
????? (writer), ????? (artist), ????? (letterer), ????? (colorist)
September 18, 2019
Dynamite continues the celebration of Vampirella’s 50th anniversary with the Blank Comic, which takes our favourite alien vampire on a new adventure that defies expectations. Leaping off the page with spectacular art and a story to kill for, Vampirella Blank Comic Book #1 is the Vampi book I have wanted all my life. As a burgeoning fan trying to find my place with this iconic character, I could not have asked for a better introduction. I’ve read other books featuring the character, including the most recent relaunch written by Christopher Priest, but she has always struggled to be defined beyond her costume and vampiric status. The Vampirella Blank Comic Book #1 finally gives her the characterization she deserves.
It’s impossible to talk about this Vampirella outing without first discussing that outfit. Dynamite struggles with its fashion decisions when it comes to its three main warrior woman, namely, Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris, and Vampirella. All three have gone through various redesigns in an effort to make them more attractive to a wider market, but they keep coming back to their original duds. Vampirella herself has had several redesigns since her original Trina Robbins’ designed masterpiece. While I don’t want Vampirella to only be defined by her clothing, there is something to be said about the power of iconic outfits. Part of the failing of the previous designs was in leaving behind too many of the striking elements of her original costume. This new costume doesn’t fall into this trap. It also doesn’t fall into the trap of giving artists too easy an opportunity to reduce the material to shoestrings. I want to be able to share Vampirella with my friends, but it’s hard for some readers to take her seriously when we can’t understand how she keeps her clothes in place at all.
Her costume redesign actually features as part of the plot in this first issue of a series that I hope will continue for a long time to come. With character moments like this, there’s the temptation to over explain and justify the rationale of changing her look, but the wise choice is made here to simply not explain anything at all. Vampirella decides she wants a new outfit, so she gets one. The end.
But that isn’t the end, of course. There’s a lot more that happens in this book. There are quiet, introspective moments where Vampirella really gets to show us who she is as a person and what her true desires are. But of course, you can’t have an anti-hero without a good villain, and you can’t have a vampire without some great, gory moments. The Vampirella Blank Comic Book #1 doesn’t skimp on the action and is happy to remind us that Vampi is an unapologetically awesome badass with incredible abilities that she uses on a whim. Here, she’s facing off against a new threat that brings about an upheaval for Vampirella, causing her to question her place on Earth. The theme of trust and who is deserving of it permeates the story as Vampi realizes that her friends aren’t exactly what they seem to be.
The art for this issue is astounding. Sweeping brushstrokes and cityscapes so detailed that they defy comprehension practically leap off the pages, sometimes even overshadowing the main characters and action in the foreground. Red remains the focal colour. Bloodstained moments pop out dramatically from amidst the pastel palette.
Words aren’t wasted in this issue, with every word balloon hitting home like a hammer with its beats. The crisp, clean font choice and the carefully, almost symmetrical precision of the placement of dialogue lends a deserving level of sophistication to the character, gorgeously juxtaposed against the background of violence and chaos.
The Vampirella Blank Comic Book is a must-read for fans of the character. It’s a defining moment in her 50-year career that promises many more decades of blood lust and monstrosity for this killer lady. And at only $3.99, this actually completely blank, 24-page comic that you get to write and draw yourself is a steal!