The latest installment of Vampirella was released last week from Dynamite, Christopher Priest and Ergun Gunduz with issue number 5 in the series. It seems with each issue, the plot gets more complex and intriguing and this issue is no exception.
The most significant part of #5 is that the villains were really the stars of the book in my view. We start to see Vampirella’s rogues gallery come together. We’ve now got von Kreist, The Blood Red Queen of Hearts, and Mistress Nyx all sharing a significant number of panels. As we’ve seen in previous issues, von Kreist is as we all remember him while the Queen of Hearts and Nyx are quite different from what we’re used to. I really like the way Priest handled these two characters – each in a way I didn’t expect, but both very interesting. He talked about this a bit in a recent interview with CBR which you can check out here.
While the villains’ story was the most entertaining part of the book, we still get plenty of time with Vampirella as many of the ongoing plot threads are expanded on. We’re getting more development with the relationship between Vampirella, Benny and Victory. We can see some tension starting to form between Vampirella and Victory. I feel like this is leading up to Victory eventually become a thorn in Vampirella’s side which will only get worse after Benny’s death in the plane crash, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one.
Vampirella’s relationship with the nun revealed in the last issue is also briefly expanded upon as she meets Victory and Benny while looking for Vampirella at her apartment. But the really interesting turn of events is that we find out that the other militant nuns who have been skeptical of Vampirella are spying on their sister’s activity.
I had mentioned in a previous review that I liked how Priest was referencing past Vampirella continuity in his story and we see that again in this issue as Vampirella encounters a character from Nancy Collins’ run – Drago the Nosferatu (who also references the happenings from Kate Leth’s series). Drago tries to enlist Vampirella’s help but he is quickly rebuffed. This is a new thread in this ever-expanding plot that we’ll have to keep an eye on.
I have to say this book more than any other that I’m reading right now really makes you want to pick up the next issue. I’m left wondering what will happen next and speculating to myself at the end of each installment. To me, that’s a hallmark of a great comic story