In VAMPIRELLA 1992, available from Dynamite Comics on June 2nd, 2021, a down-on-her-luck cosplayer takes a job to dress up as Vampirella during a comic convention that’s about to be invaded by a terrorist with a demon dog sidekick.
- Written By: Max Bemis
- Art By: Roberto Castro, Marcos Ramos
- Colors By: Andrew Dalhouse, Dinei Ribeiro
- Letters By: Carlos M. Mangual
- Cover Art By: Mike Krome (cover A)
- Cover Price: $4.99
- Release Date: June 2nd, 2021
Was It Good?
There’s a good idea in the middle of this one-shot. Sadly, the execution is cringe-inducing. Self-referential jokes that don’t land, satirical jabs at the “extreme” period of comics in the 90s, condescension over the stereotypical image of comics fans as socially inept incels who can’t wait to wank off to scantily clad female characters to cover for their latent homosexuality. Ahh, the 90s.
That’s the good and the bad of this one-shot. The central premise of someone who isn’t Vampirella dealing with a very Vampirella situation is interesting (until you get to the twist at the end), but it’s buried in stereotype on top of stereotype on top of stereotype. This one-shot is one massive collection of unflattering stereotypes padding out an idea that probably could have been told in 8 pages.
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In contrast, the art is very good. The artists really captured the spirit of comic styles from the 90s, particularly from Image. The first splash page past the prologue looks like it was taken from any comic you find in the Image title lineup circa 1992, so that’s a strong testament to the quality of the work.
It’s a shame such a stellar effort from the art team is wasted on writing that tries to pretend offensiveness is actually clever satire.
What’s It About?
[SPOILERS AHEAD – Click here if you just want the score without spoilers]
Tani Phillips lives in a rundown apartment with a sleazeball for a landlord and very little money coming in. To prevent having to make her landlord “happy” by other means than money, Tawni takes a job at a local comic convention dressing up like Vampirella for tips and cosplay costume contest money.
During the convention, Tawni is ogled, groped, and mansplained to by every maladjusted comic nerd stereotype you can cram into a few pages.
Meanwhile, a drug-addled, terrorist warlord crashes the convention as a paid assignment. It’s never explained why anyone would pay a terrorist to crash a mall, but here we are, and the question of “why” is never addressed.
We cut to a godlike hero by the name of Krav Maga who moves by leaping from cloud to cloud. He stealthily (?) enters the mall by crashing through a window, and he then bestows super strength and power to the female cosplayers, including Tawni, by farting on them.
The cosplayers use their fart-injected power to fight the terrorists and win. The warlord makes a last gesture of defiance by throwing a bloody heart in Tawni’s face. Suddenly, she undergoes a change, and we see that Tawni is the real Vampirella who’s been attempting to live a normal life away from the bloodlust. Unfortunately, throwing a bloody heart in her face reawakened her thirst and she kills the warlord.
We conclude the issue with Vampirella back in her aprartment.
How Does It End?
Vampirella’s landlord brought some friends to gang-rape Tawni. They are not successful. They are no longer alive.
VAMPIRELLA 1992 is intended (I think) to be a satirical sendup of every extreme trope of the 90s, but despite the admirable art execution, becomes a gross parody of itself.
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