What does a plane crash, abominations, killer nuns, and a highly skeptical therapist have in common? Vampirella. The iconic Vampiri tackles her recent troubles in therapy following a horrific accident.
Christopher Priest begins the volume with an open letter to the reader about how he got started writing for Vampirella and the path he wants to take the character down. It gives a great idea about his and Ergün Gündüz approach in their run.
As a Volume 1 to their run, Priest and Gündüz introduced a lot of characters. Each with a very simple relationship to Vampirella, but emotionally complex. That emotional complexity is where the stakes lie. The world isn’t ending and their is no “demonic” resurrection taking place. The real damage to Vampirella is done to her personal world. One of the things this Vol drives home is her attempt to live a life outside of her killing and paranormal adventures. It is very engrossing and at times is more interesting than the fights and bloodshed.
Vampirella’s family is explored in this through the action pieces and paranormal. it keeps the lore and backstory of her life in short bursts instead of long drawn out exposition. Gündüz does a really good job of highlighting their inhumanity and alien nature when they are present by drawing each with a personal flare.
The narrative is structured around a very in depth therapy session with Vampirella retelling the past year leading up to a traumatic plane crash and subsequent break-up with her girlfriend Victory. The therapist’s approach to helping her is by crushing these “delusions of fantasy” that make up Vampirella’s life and force her to acknowledge reality. This storytelling approach really brings a sense of levity to her retelling. The therapist is written and drawn in a way that you can’t help but laugh at times (calling Vampirella’s mom a ‘prada bitch’ for example). Each small arc that keeps the story moving isn’t highlighted by an action piece, but instead is marked by a change in her relationships and emotional ties. For those who really enjoy the therapy aspect, there is also an amazing Easter egg at the end.
This reads like a romantic horror more than horror action. And if you like fantasy and horror comics with emotional reads through a slow burn story, then you’ll enjoy this tremendously. If you don’t like the emotional aspects and prefer straight action, then I don’t believe you’ll enjoy this.