After last issue showcased how Sonja ends up in Russia, this issue focuses on what Vampirella has been doing before she met Sonja; in Jordie Bellaire’s case, Vampirella was is a part of the punk scene in 1969. As years pass, she becomes a P.I. and slaughters a drug and sex trafficking ring to save someone she has a one night stand with during her punk phase.
As a flashback issue, Bellaire delivers on providing Drew Moss a means to showcase multiple sides of Vampirella, focusing on her as a punk and her romantic escapades, to showcasing the brutality of her kills and her ability to research into missing people. With each panel, Moss gives us different phases of Vampirella’s life in a way that showcases her more as a caring and devoted person. We see Vampirella have a one night stand with a woman and continue to track her years later, only to help those in need that police won’t believe. The end result is seeing Vampirella rip the arm off a trafficker’s and shove it into another trafficker’s face, killing two people.
This issue also delivers a moment of artistic expression with Vampirella in what looks like an allusion to Red Sonja. during multiple scenes, we see Vampirella painting a red haired woman dressed similarly to Red Sonja. Later on, we also see the dragon wings on the character, a potential allusion to Sonja’s nickname. all of this ties perfectly with the tone of this series as it gives more precedence as to their potentially, not so chance encounter. Bellaire even mentions that Vampirella is looking for friends and might discover one. This being an obvious allusion to their initial meeting.
As an issue, the only problems I saw in it was some typical writing that stood out, but not in a great way. During the trafficking fights, we get dialogue from men saying that she shouldn’t be able to kill them because she’s a woman, implying women are weak. While in modern times, this statement is untrue, the comic uses it regardless, potentially as a means to convey the time period where this thinking was common. Nowadays it isn’t though, and delivering those lines felt normal and uninspired. It’s one of those clichés that writers tend to use during certain time periods, and would’ve been better if we had more intense dialogue then using a cliché from an older time period. Since Vampirella and Sona both have showcased more brutal aspects of themselves in this run, it would’ve been more fitting to showcase that personality more from Vampirella, instead of her responding “You’re a man.” That line didn’t provide enough impact for me, after seeing Vampirella already brutally kill all these men. What did work, was her line about “liking it rough” when the muscle of the traffickers makes passes at her, and she responds in kind before completely eviscerating him.
Overall, this issue felt nostalgic and was mostly enjoyable in terms of art and text, but some of the dialogue feels lacking or less impactful during the issue. As a precursor to issue 1, this still continues to deliver on setting a tone for how the characters are portrayed and how their actions lead them to different paths.