After Victory’s arrest in the last issue, due to events set forth by Vampirella’s mom, Christopher Priest delivers his strongest arc by hitting the ground running.
While on vacation, Vampirella and Benny are introduced to Leger, a mysterious person who appears to know more about the island than he gives off. Priest establishes Leger as a mysterious figure with the ability to fly and an inane curiosity about Vampirella and Benny. This results in the overarching plot of the issue.
After Leger serves the two drinks on the nudist beach, a cop gives the two a ticket. Then we skip ahead to the club, where Benny meets Leger and mentions being a practicing witch. This results in Leger leaving, when cops show up to take Benny to the island’s leader. Meanwhile, Vampirella feeds in the forest, only to encounter Leger and follow him into a cave, where she becomes ensnared. Each event that occurs between the two, occus because Leger was involved. Leger even mentions that he is involved with the island’s leader.
While Vampirella is doing her thing, we see Victory out of jail and meeting with the sisters to aid in killing Vampirella. We also see Vampirella’s brother aiding the nuns as well. This results in a changing tide in the story.
In previous issues, Priest set up Vampirella describing past events to a therapist. We also saw that Vampirella has burnt the bridge with Mary, the nun she had an affair with. What this issue leaves to question however, is how Victory got out of jail. We see an allusion to Benny potentially putting her to sleep, but last we saw, Victory was imprisoned at some point, and Vampirella hadn’t given Victory any powers. What we are seeing now, however, is Victory has her own Vampirella costume, and she has a grudge against Vampirella. This grudge might pertain to the jail sentence, where Vampirella attempted earlier to aid in Victory’s case. Vampirella had burst through the window to showcase that monsters exist and she was the cause of the inmates death, but that wasn’t enough to stop Victory from taking the fall for the crime.
With a mom looking to stop her daughter, and old allies going after her, Vampirella keeps adding on to those who want to stop her. Benny is the only ally she has left, and yet Benny is at a loss during his capture by the Voodoo king of the British Islands. This will result in a lot of promising arcs going forward, as Vampirella’s rogues gallery grows. At first the series was more dialogue heavy with flashbacks issues, but now we’re at a point where Priest has hit his stride and started to give us a larger narrative through world building, and developing the different characters and players in Vampirella’s life.
Other than the great story telling elements in this issue, guest artist Giovanni Timpano delivers a welcomed change in art style from Gundaz, who’d drawn the first six issues. This time, both artists were involved, but Timpano draws a majority of the pages this time. In Timpano’s work, we’re seeing great diversity in panels with a larger amount of full page spreads. Timpano starts with a gargoyle cave, then we see a full page of Benny and Vampirella at the beach, and we got a full page of Vampirella feeding on an animal. The designs on each page were fantastic. Seeing savagery from Vampirella feeding, something we only saw in series like Vampirella & Red Sonja or Vengeance of Vampirella, really added to the more violent tendencies of the character. We also were given a cool cave scenery where we first meet Leger, with fleshed out stones and a few crows to add to the appeal of the area.
Timpano also delivered a fun clubbing scene that was really pulled together by Flavio Dispenza. The use of the neon lights and darker hues on the characters to highlight how that scene would look worked perfectly. It also made the scene more vibrant for a night view. This coloration was similar to the cave sequences however, minus the neon elements. The shades on the characters at night and in the club, reflected similarly with the creatures in the cave that go after Vampirella. It would’ve been nice to see a more stark contrast of colors between the two places to make the club appear more upbeat than the more toned down elements it used at times.
Overall, from the writing to the use of colors during the beach and night scenes, to the poses and action sequences throughout, this was by far my favorite issue so far and it looks to only be ramping up in the coming issues.