New adventures for Vampirella as she awakes to a bizarre Modern world.
Warning: Spoilers for Vampirella #0
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist and Colourist: Jimmy Broxton
Letterer: Travis Lanham
It’s been over a thousand years since Vampirella was last spotted and the initial pages of this first issue open in stunning pastel hues with bold clean lines and beautifully formed figures. The artwork in this first issue is simply stunning. The colours and lettering below the panels are a nice nod to the 70’s; where Vampirella’s story has its origins.
The two-page spread that depicts the title of this issue in colossal boulder lettering is a visual treat. ‘Forbidden Fruit Prologue’ is carved into the snowy mountain like a caveman’s Hollywood sign. Snow drifts and obscures the feet of three unknown characters trekking through the snow. Their words are urgent and movement slow as they trudge through the blizzard. The crawling pace of these panels builds suspense. Through dialogue we are made aware that they are fleeing something terrible.
The movement through each panel is fluid, especially during the underground descent scenes. Vampirella’s dreams are present from the beginning as her slumbering thoughts are written at the bottom of each page. Her presence and the way these three characters talk of her build an air of awe and worship around Vampirella.
There is not an incredible amount of action in this first scene but a great amount of suspense is built. The three initial characters sacrifice themselves in order to resurrect the badly deteriorated Vampirella. She apologises repeatedly as she eats two of her saviors. Having woken to two dead bodies and an old book for explanation Vampirellla is left to figure out this new and strange world on her own. The book depicts her as some sort of prophet and she is dismayed by the weight of this responsibility.
This issue offers subtle hints to this new world order and the three trekking characters express the suppression of joy; it seems to be monitored and controlled in some way. Vampirella represents the biblical forbidden fruit not to be disturbed. With this, the book, and the ritualistic sacrifice, a mix of various religious customs is called to mind.
Vampirella wakes to nothing but questions. The mystery is high and I am left desperate to find out more. This super cheap first edition of Vampirella is a triumph, leaving us full of speculation and intrigue. And isn’t this what any good narrative should do? To leave us asking, wanting and wondering?