Review: Vampirella Valentine’s Day Special

Last week Dynamite released the Vampirella Valentine’s Day Special one-shot written by Leah Williams with art by Maria Sanapo. I have to say, this is one of my favorite single issues of Vampirella in recent years. Read on to find out why (spoilers ahead)!

The story takes place in New Orleans with Vampirella investigating a tip about thirteen missing children. After defeating a half-woman, half-snake monster called a Lamia, the person who she received the tip from reveals himself. His name is Val Boudreaux and he informs Vampirella that the Lamia is just one of many problems in New Orleans that needs to be cleaned up. He then leads her to a series of other baddies which they dispatch together.

Boudreaux is then revealed to be a werewolf shortly before a pack of his fellow werewolves attack the pair. Once the werewolves are defeated, he begs Vampirella to kill him to because he’s afraid of the harm he could do as a monster. In the end Vampirella is able to convince him that he is good and worth more alive than dead.

What I love the most about this book is that it takes Vampirella back to many of the core things that define the character. It doesn’t try to do to much, but delivers a strong story using established concepts and traits of the character. Horror, action, mystery and suspense are all here. Furthermore, Vampirella’s voice is correct here. I hate it when we read a Vampirella (or any established character for that matter) story where it feels like some other character is speaking through her on the page. Now to be fair, I can’t really describe what Vampirella’s  voice should be, but I know when it’s right!

I also love the look of this book. The art is beautiful and the colors by Ceci de la Cruz are very well done. Another complaint I often have which is similar to what I mentioned above about the character’s voice is when artists can’t make her actually look like Vampirella. Not a problem at all in this book! In fact, they chose to go with my favorite look for the character, which is the trench coat over her costume. I personally think this should be the standard, but I am also enjoying they’re doing with her attire in Roses for the Dead.

Bottom line, this is a good, fun book that fans of Vampirella should check out. My only complaint is that I wish the story could have been a few pages longer to allow it to “breathe” a bit more in some places. The book also features a reprint of a short story from Vampirella Summer Special #1 and I think they would have been better served to use those pages to extend the main story. Either way I loved the book and recommend picking it up if you can!

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