In Review: Vampirella Strikes #3

The covers: Two main covers and several variants for this issue. I had access to images for the Mains but not the Variants. The first Main cover is by Johnny Desjardins showing Vampy holding her amulet out, seeming to ward off the evil creatures above her. In the foreground are red roses, while in the background a mansion. What’s it all mean? I don’t know, but Desjardins has been solid so far, so who am I to question his choices? The other Main cover is by Fabiano Neves with a swarm of bats surrounding Vampirella. This doesn’t happen in this issue, but it’s still cool, classic, and sexy! Overall grades: Desjardins A- and Neves A

The story: This summary is going to be more vague than usual since the first four pages are a flashback giving the (possible) origin of how our fallen angel became a supplier to the dark forces in their creation of the drug that’s converting humans into monsters. What makes this flashback interesting is that it teases something horrible was discovered to make this angel fall. What was it? It’s not said or shown! Brilliant touch from Tom Sneigoski–I want this reason to be milked for all that it can, and he’s doing it oh so well! But what of Vampirella and Janus? Well, they go to a cool, new locale and get some information and make a (again, possible) enemy, encounter some baddies, and end with one heck of a cliffhanger, with our heroine dressed so that veteran fans will be jumping for joy. High points for me included the last bit of dialogue on Page 7, the same on Page 9, the entire sequence on Page 13 (delicious!), the reveal on Page 19, and that last page! This story continues to be great! Overall grade: A+

The art: Continuing the greatness is the artwork of Johnny Desjardins. The flashbacks are epic, the damned come off as truly lost (Page 6), Page 13 is perfect in its perversion, the new character on Page 15 is disgustingly evil, and the last page is a Vampirella’s dream come true! And don’t forget Janus: he looks great! His hair, the jacket, the guns, the emotions on his face–he’s written well, but the art catapults him to stardom! I wouldn’t be surprised if Janus gets his own spin-off. Overall grade: A+

The colors: I love the work done by Adriano Lucas on this book. The flashbacks of the angels perfectly capture their status and the age of the time. You can smell the smoking gore on Page 6 due to the colors. But the high point for me is the fourth panel on Page 9–there’s barely any color but the colors that are present intensify the thirteen words spoken: cold and final. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Screams, dialogue, narration, and a phone ringing from Marshall Dillon, but no sounds for Janus’ guns? Disappointing! I must hear Heaven’s gunshots! Overall grade: B+

The final line: This continues to be one of the best books available. Action, horror, and Vampirella! Should not be missed! Overall grade: A

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