After the build-up and conclusion of the previous issue, Sniegoski and team take a break to focus on a narrative heavy, backstory issue of Vampirella’s most action filled, ongoing series.
In this standalone, we get a focus on the more animal instincts of the character as she comes to terms with losing control to her instincts of killing to survive.
As a character focused on her more human aspects, this issue delivers a short storyline that acts more as a precursor of what we might expect in the final fight for humanities safety. We already saw the lengths she went to in her fight with Hemorrhage, but adding an issue that feels more like a surface level filler arc, could actually be a meaningful precursor of what’s to come.
Within this series, we’ve seen the story they are telling is one of Vampirella’s past, and in that past, we see her die and be reborn to stop a resurfaced threat. Through this threat, Vampirella gives us a look at superpowered and supernatural allies, while she uses her smarts to outwit her enemies. What we’ve also seen are villains who aren’t as bloodthirsty as Vampirella herself. In issue four, we saw Vampirella release the hold on the sun, while her enemies force humans to kill themselves. This showed a somewhat emotionless aspect to the character, and gave her a personality of looking after the majority rather than the minority of people.
When the villains looked to use humans as bait, we also saw that they didn’t spend any time focusing on what they needed to maintain to continue to have power. Due to their own hubris and lack of dedication to maintain power, they lost an important piece, resulting in Hemorrhage taking matters into his own hands.
Since issue five focuses more on the fight, leading up to a big conclusion, it makes sense that we’re only getting a filler issue. As is common in series, after the end to a big arc, it’s common to get an issue or smaller stakes arc, before continuing the larger overarching plot. While this wasn’t as satisfying as I’d hoped for, this issue did deliver on potentially giving away a major plot element when this series picks up again with the main story. Since Vampirella is worried about her animal instincts taking over for good, we could see that be the ultimate outcome by the end.
As for the art in this series, Castro delivered a style and pages that felt more like a 90’s comic compared to the cleaner style of the previous issues. Since this issue was a flashback, I’m uncertain if the change of style felt intentional, but the large amount of black and at times rougher looking character designs, it gave off a different vibe to the issues taking place in the current times for the series. If this change of look was intentional, it worked for this issue because it’s a flashback, so it felt like you’re reading an older issue of Vampirella. The change of style wouldn’t be as impactful when the current arc picks up again, but the look for this issue and having that style involved was definitely a good decision.