Review: Vampirella vs Reanimator #2

The second issue of Dynamite’s Vampirella vs Reanimator was released last week, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Blacky Shepherd.

This issue picks up where the first issue left off, with Herbert West bringing an Aztec queen/goddess (Mictecacihuatl, Lady of Death) back to life. He offers to bring her husband back as well, but she is so impressed with the doctor’s work that she declines the offer and adopts him as her partner. We find out that Vampirella, as an armored warrior, fought and killed Mictecacihuatl and her husband some time in the distant past on Drakulon. She then hid their bodies on Earth where Dr. West discovered them. Vampirella tracks her down, but is ultimately unsuccessful in her bid to stop her.

I thought this was an improvement over the first issue, but it still really isn’t doing it for me. The plot seems paper thin to me, complete with a villain with a cliche plot. Conveniently she has a history with Vampirella. This series is obviously taking a lot of liberties with Vampirella’s backstory just as in the Vampirella/Dejah Thoris series. I don’t think it’s done as well here. I don’t mind “elseworlds” type stories, but in my opinion Dynamite may want to reign in their creators a bit with respect to Vampirella’s history. Having every writer come up with a totally different backstory every time is a bit much if you ask me. No one ever comes up with anything that’s better (or as good as) the original origin. It would be so much better if they just stuck to that. I’m hoping they will do that in the main Vampirella book that is relaunching later this year, and if they must have these alternate histories keep them confined to miniseries.

The art in this book follows the scheme of the first issue with its black and white renderings with splashes of red. I’m again not crazy about the art, but it does have a few moments that shine, like one big panel where Vampirella faces off against giant resurrected ghost spiders. If they wanted to use black and white art as a throwback to the Warren era, I think they would have been better served to go totally black and white without the color. I also just feel like the art doesn’t capture Vampirella correctly, or at least the way I like to see her. Something just feels off about it to me.

So far I’m somewhat underwhelmed, but I’ll stick with it and see how it all shakes out.

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