Review: Vampirella vs Reanimator #4

Vampirella vs Reanimator #4 is out now and is the conclusion to Cullen Bunn’s crossover miniseries about the two title characters. I’ll review this issue and also add some thoughts about the series as a whole.

In the last issue, the two antagonists (I don’t even want to try to spell those names!) had joined forces and Dr. West appeared to be realizing the error of his ways. In issue 4, a portal to the Drakulon has been opened, allowing Earth to be flooded by the “essence” of that planet, threatening to kill everyone on Earth. Vampirella attacks, but her neck is snapped and she is killed. Dr. West uses his serum to bring her back. Her strength is greatly enhanced by the serum and she enters the portal to try again to stop the two gods. The added strength allows her to destroy her adversaries, but during the battle Dr. West escapes, knowing that Vampirella has unfinished business with him.

This conclusive issue wraps everything up neatly, but leaves one strand dangling at the end as it’s hinted that the two characters may meet again. It was pretty consistent with the previous three issues with nothing really standing out. I guess the apparent death of Vampirella was the biggest twist, although of course we know she will come back which she does a few pages later. The final battle was pretty generic and predictable. Too many times during this series I felt like certain plot points were just inserted out of convenience to check off certain boxes and move the plot along. Even the villains felt this way as they seemed pretty generic to me.

Not knowing much about the Reanimator franchise, I can only speak about this as a Vampirella fan. For her, it was a real odd take. I appreciate that it stayed true to her scifi/horror roots, but the altered history didn’t really click with me. It just felt so random that I couldn’t really see why it was justified. It’s not a huge deal, but something just felt off about it the entire series. I think adding some of Vampi’s supporting cast could have added something to give Vampirella a little more depth. As it is, it feels like she’s just this lone wolf monster hunter with no real life or connections to Earth.

While this series wasn’t really my speed, it’s always better to have Vampirella on the comic book shelves. I generally like the idea of these team-up mini series and I hope we get more in the near future.

3 Comments

  1. I’ve just finished the trade of this series. When I first picked it up I hated the artwork, but as I made my way through the book it grew on me. Not to the point where I like it, but I found it worked okay for this story (although like you I didn’t like the way Shepherd drew Vampirella’s face). Generally though, I agree with everything you’ve said. Have you seen the #4 variant cosplay cover with Ireland Reid as Vampi (it’s included in the back of the trade)? She looks phenomenal – hands down the best I’ve seen!

    • You’re right, she definitely does one of the best cosplay Vampirellas.

      Unfortunately this series was mostly a miss for me. I don’t remember if I mentioned this anywhere, but some of the liberties taken with Vampirella and her backstory just seemed so random, like they were just chosen for storytelling convenience. I would compare it to Silver Age Superman comics where they would often just invent some new power for Superman to get him out of whatever jam he was in that month. Of course I love those Silver Age stories for their campiness, so I guess I’m not very consistent 😁

      • 🙂
        Yes, I’m not really sure why they did that. I can’t see that it would have been too difficult to fit this story around Vampirella’s main continuity. I get that they had her come to Earth centuries earlier than she normally does, so she could inter the remains of the Death God and Goddess (I’m not going to try spelling their names either!), but I’m sure another explanation could have been found for their arrival here all those years ago, and then their subsequent rediscovery by Vampirella.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.