Vampirella #4

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
Kolchak the Night Stalker first introduced me to the concept of new cities being built over old ones fossilized by fire. In The Night Strangler, the intrepid reporter delved into eldritch Seattle to thwart the murderous, eternally young Richard Malcolm.

Eric Trautmann clearly intended this issue of Vampirella to tribute one of the greatest horror shows ever made, and for the most part it works. It would almost be stupid not to use the setting given Vampi's move to Seattle.

In any case, Vampirella and her new, young charge Sofia enter the vampire's nest and do some serious damage. However, the things infesting the vamps prove to be more durable than expected.

Essentially nothing more than a return engagement to the themes of the premiere, issue four of Vampirella nevertheless is worth the reader's time thanks to Trautmann's energetic presentation of the benevolent vampire. She's angry and more dangerous than ever. Even her traditional medallion becomes a startling weapon, and while artists Wagner Reis and Vinicius Andrade make Vampirella beautiful, they also bestow ferocity in her expression and emphasize her vampiric powers. Her speed for example decides a fateful moment, and the judicious use of blurring enhances the impact.

On the flip side, Trautmann, Reis and Andrade engender an unclean and lethal ambiance to the worm-like things that parasitize the vampires. The standout moment occurs when the vampires regenerate in macabre jigsaw like fashion. This scene could have easily been ludicrous, but the art conveys eerie horror.

When Vampirella meets up with her oldest enemy, Trautmann, Reis and Andrade give the instance the resonance it deserves. The battle between the two is swift, the dialogue barbs sharp, and though nothing is resolved in this issue, the creative team leave the reader with a tantalizing cliffhanger that makes you thirsty for the conclusion.

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