BUSIEK, KARL - VAMPIRELLA - THE DRACULA WAR! 1984 Harris Comics.
Glossy comic book adventure of a VAMPIRE queen who fights vampires while wearing OTT bikinis. The character of Vampirella dates back to the late 1960’s when she was clearly created as a Barbarella spoof. She also owes her origins to the Vampira and Elvira type characters that used to host TV B-Movie marathons in the US. Vampirella in this version of her adventures is supposedly reworked as a feminist icon, but that is hard to see in this adventure, which lacks antsy real substance at all. The plot is basic. Vampirella, her boyfriend, a CIA based gun toting descendant of the van Helsing family, and an elderly stage magician called Pendragon, fight the forces of evil. Vampirella wears an utterly impractical swimsuit that would simply fall off any woman leaping about as she does here. After a ridiculously easy raid on a cult that is trying to sacrifice children to werewolves, a dying man tells Vampirella that Dracula is at large. Vampirella has met Dracula before. She has been led to believe that he came from her home world, Draculon (groan), but now suspects this to be a lie. Following leads, she finds out that Dracula is in France, which is now a Totalitarian State and in Civil War. Dracula who is feeding off the soldiers sent by the French authorities to deal with him has in fact caused the war. Vampirella finds out thither own vampire nature is changing. She starts developing a blood lust of her own (she has been feeding off artificial synthetic blood) and she now likes killing her enemies, which she never did before. She also has an embarrassing tendency to shape shift even when she doesn’t want to. She turns into a giant bat from time to time. She escapes from Dracula’s lair after he fails to convince her that she should join him in destroying the World, and she wipe-out his army of vampires. The final panel vowing to be avenged for his ignoble defeat. Vacuous, superficial nonsense. It looks sexy, but it lacks any personality whatsoever.
© Copyright. Arthur Chappell
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