Vengeance of Vampirella #2
Joshua Middleton (cover artist), Troy Peteri (letterer), Omi Remalante Jr. (colourist), Tom Sniegoski (writer), Michael Sta. Maria (artist)
November 6, 2019
This is a bleak future and the emptiness left by Vampirella’s death is palpable, even to her greatest enemy and the one who sent her to her grave. But the work of the Danse Macabre has not failed and Vampirella has returned, just when the people need her most. Buuuuut she’s not quite with it just yet.
What I enjoyed most about the first issue is that it took its time to bring Vampirella back to us. The second issue continues this slow, patient pace, giving just enough panels with our anti-hero to whet our appetites as she feeds her hunger. Vampirella is trapped in the inconvenient haze of the newly risen from the dead, with the added bonus of bloodlust driving her to kill seemingly whatever stands in her way. Her senses are fuzzy and she’s confused, but she has enough vague understanding of who and what she is to head in the right direction and aim her claws with precision.
Michael Sta. Maria depicts this muddled Vampirella with ease. Vacant eyes on a scantily clad woman are typical of comics, but here, Sta. Maria uses this detail to utmost effect and in striking contrast to when her rage hits and she instinctually attacks.
Omi Remalante Jr.’s dreary colours help to weigh down the depressing state of a world overrun with demons, while also making the brilliant red of blood and costumes really pop. Combined with Sta. Maria’s monstrous creations and the crumbling city behind them. The art leans into the heavy sense of despair felt by the few humans that remain, running and hiding, and we get a closer look at the monstrosities roaming around the city or seemingly ruling it from the distant abyss.
There are several vicious deaths at Vampirella’s hands in this issue, but as with everything else, the violence is offered as a tease, drawn out across panels where Troy Peteri’s terrified shrieks are what lead us to the obvious conclusions regarding the fate of her victims. While we may later get to see the gory aftermath, the offscreen terror and carnage are what further build the story’s creeping sense of anticipation for the horrors that are to come.
The imagery does a lot of the work in this series so far, as is to be expected, but that’s not to sell Tom Sniegoski’s words short. The writing is sparse. Sniegoski has mastered the art of less is more as well as the art of the well-timed pause. With just a few coy lines of dialogue, Sniegoski draws the reader in with threads of uncertainty as to who is truly in power here and what games are being played.
I am intrigued by this Vampirella story, which is a good feeling to have for a character I want to get to know better. We haven’t reached her the point of vengeance yet, but I’m prepared to take this slow ride to the depths of Hell with her.