Whereas most comic series contain short story arcs within an overarching storyline, it’s hard to say the same about Jordie Bellaire’s Vampirella Red Sonja series after the first 6-issue run.
Having published issue eight last week, the series has already spent two issues in a 1920’s gangster arc, and now has switched the place and storyline. The quick jump from place to place without a clear overarching antagonist makes for a weaker overall storyline.
Bellaire’s initial 6-issue run had some of my favorite characterizations for the series and laid the groundwork for how the two met up, but now Sonja’s time travelling gem is the only thing holding the plot together, albeit loosely. Instead the series hasn’t been as much of a quest for answers about the origin of the item or seeking a way home, and instead has become an episodic story that varies locations to entertain.
This story structure isn’t as appealing since we’re not given enough time to explore the world further or have a recurring antagonist. If the gem were the true antagonist, then I’d expect a little more looking into it, but instead we get Sonja and Vampirella spending four issues meeting each other and fighting Russian vampires. Followed by two issues to explain how they arrived where they are.
Culminating in the first time travel arc that only lasts two issues before changing places.
Using Drakulon for the next story arc, the series should explore the planet more than two issues and give more reasons to appreciate the struggles that the main characters go through. Watching them fight random villains with no clear return of the villains makes for meaningless episodic storylines. Due to Vampirella’s history with Drakulon and Sonja’s past characterizations in this series, it’d be more exciting to explore different aspects of the planet and people, while giving some fun interactions with Sonja and the culture clash.
If the series continues to do what feels like standalone episodic issues, then Vampirella Red Sonja will become one of the weaker installments for the ongoing series with the characters. Each author of the two characters has brought something to the table, but Bellaire’s recent story path for this run has become episodic in nature, making the series have a weaker story structure.