Review: Vampirella Dejah Thoris #5

Ok, this review is way overdue! The fifth and final issue of Vampirella/Dejah Thoris was released a few weeks ago and it wraps up what had been a very solid series so far.

Issue 4 ended on a cliffhanger in which it appeared that Dejah Thoris had a change of heart and decided to go along with her fellow Barsoomians in destroying the other Drakulonians headed for the planet. In this issue we quickly find out that this was just a ruse on the part of Dejah Thoris (as expected). She actually allows for the alien Vampires to land on the planet safely, but there is also a team led by Gur Tus headed to intercept and take out the new arrivals.

The blood-starved Drakulonians prove to be a bit too much to handle and slaughter many of the Martians. Dejah Thoris and Vampirella arrive on the scene and battle a giant hippo-like creature called an Apt. After holding the Drakulonians in check, it is revealed that most of the vampires actually headed for Earth. After the Martian scientists create a way to synthesize blood, Vampirella reveals that she is headed to Earth to try to save any of her surviving people there. The book ends with a nice nod to the Princess of Mars book when Dejah remarks that if she is “ever to meet anyone from Jarsoom, the will have to come to me.”

When I first read this issue, I felt a little let down. I had enjoyed the series so far and I felt like the conclusion was a little to predictable and didn’t feel quite satisfying. However, I read it again to refresh my memory before writing this review and my opinion changed a bit. I think it was a solid wrap-up to the story. I liked the open-endedness of the story as Vampirella departs for Earth. As I’ve talked about before, this story is clearly outside of the accepted Vampirella “canon,” but it stays true to certain key elements. Here we see that she is going to Earth, but under different circumstances than in the standard origin story.

While I will always prefer the original, it would be interesting to explore this version further. What happens when she arrives on an Earth where many of her people have already landed in a blood-starved state of mind? We don’t know when in time this story takes place other than the fact that it is clearly before A Princess of Mars, which I believe took place in the latter half of the 19th century. So this would be Vampirella on Earth during a totally different time period than we’re used to. I could see that opening up avenues for some interesting stories!

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