Review: Savage Tales Vampirella #1

Dynamite released the one-shot Savage Tales: Vampirella #1 today and I’ve just finished reading it. I’ve really been looking forward to this book, so I’m glad to finally get to read it.

If you’re a fan of the Warren magazines, you will probably enjoy this book, but the story is actually more like the non-Vampirella stories from those magazines. While the Vampirella stories were more continuity-driven, the other stories were generally one-off tales often with a twist or open-ended conclusion. That’s how this story plays out. It’s open-ended enough that it ends with question, “end?” The world presented in the story would definitely be worth revisiting. Being a one-shot, I have to assume that isn’t in the cards, but you never know.

So what kind of world is that exactly? Vampirella finds herself in barbarian/sword and sorcery time/place (think Conan or Red Sonja) with no recollection of how she got there. She discovers that the barbarians that attacked her are being mind-controlled by an unseen villain. She eventually tracks down the big-bad and more conflict ensues. I won’t go into more detail about the plot so as to not spoil it. Bottom line, it’s a good, fun and quick Vampirella story that fans of the character should enjoy. Writer Erik Burnham gives us a version of Vampirella that will ring true to long time fans, which is what we’ve been asking for for some time.

On the art side, the book looks great! Anthony Marques, J. Bone, Fernando Ruiz and Daniel HDR are credited with the art. The style reminds me somewhat of Bruce Timm’s work. I particularly enjoyed the action sequences with the barbarian/viking characters. They wrap it up with a really great classic-looking panel of Vampirella on the last page. Of course I won’t show that here, so go pick up a copy and see it for yourself!

While I have no idea what’s coming down the pipeline after the Roses for the Dead series, I feel like this one-shot is the kick-off book for the next era of Vampirella comics with Dynamite. They’ve shed their “experimental” phase and now appear to be back on track with the character. This book feels like they’re making a statement that Vampirella is back.

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