Vampirella #7 was was definitely a different sort of issue for this series. It felt like Christopher Priest was letting the readers take a bit of a breath after throwing so much at us in each of the first six issues. Whatever the intent was, I enjoyed this issue a lot.
The most obvious difference upon opening the book is the artwork. The bulk of the issue was drawn by Giovanni Timpano with the rest being from series regular Ergun Gunduz. This issue mostly focuses on Vampirella and Benny in Tortola, which is the part drawn by Timpano. I think he did an admirable job. I would say his art is more in line with the style of Michael Sta. Maria’s work on Vengeance of Vampirella – a traditional superhero comic style.
By giving the Tortola story the focus in this issue, Priest’s storytelling doesn’t jump around as much as past issues have, although he does intersperse some other scenes from back home which are drawn by Gunduz. I liked the change of pace here. I’m not sure if the Tortola plot points will tie in with the main narrative or not. There are basically two things going on here – Benny is arrested for witchcraft by a Voodoo cult of some kind and Vampirella’s encounter with a winged being calling himself the Saint.
Back in the States we see Victory’s reaction to Benny and Vampirella being in Tortola together and she’s not too happy about it. More and more it becomes clear that she is on the path to becoming a villain for Vampi. She confronts Mother Mary dressed in a black Vampirella costume informing her that she and Vampirella are finished. Mary is then visited by Drake who tries to recruit her to help him alert Vampirella to the plot being hatched against her by Von Kreist and the others. He feels that Vampirella can’t trust him because of their past, so he wants Mary to intercede.
We’ll have to wait until next issue to find out what happens with Vampirella and Benny on Tortola, but we know they both end up on the plane so somehow they will get out of the precarious situations this issue leaves them in. The solicitation for issue 8 doesn’t give too many clues, so it will be interesting to see what Priest has come up with here.
One last note – I believe I saw that the first trade for this series will hit shelves in April, reprinting the first 6 issues. So be on the look out if that’s something you’re interested in!