VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES VOL 4

VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES VOL 4

Vampirella was created by Forrest J. Ackerman and Trina Robbins in “Vampirella #1” (September 1969). Since then, many stories have been written until today. In this review I will present the compilation “VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES VOL 4: VISIONARIES TPB” published between 1993 and 2006. This compilation was released by Dynamite/Mythos in Brazil in 2014. I intend to briefly describe each story, starting from the lowest to the highest rating.

Vampirella’s impact on the comic book industry cannot be overstated. Throughout the years, she has become an iconic figure, captivating readers with her unique blend of horror, action, and sensuality. This Vampirella comic series review aims to delve deep into her character and the significance of her stories.

Each volume in this compilation offers a different perspective on the character, exploring various themes and storylines. As I delve into the nuances of each installment, it becomes evident how Vampirella has evolved over the years and the impact she has had on the genre as a whole.

From her origins as a horror hostess to her role as a formidable warrior fighting against supernatural threats, Vampirella’s journey is one of complexity and depth. Through this review, we will examine how each story contributes to her overarching narrative and the broader themes of the series.

11. Fantasy Feast (2004)

Art by AMANDA CONNER

Written by JIMMY PALMIOTTI – Art by AMANDA CONNER

This story, unfortunately, does not meet the usual expectations associated with Vampirella. The narrative takes an approach that may not resonate with the character’s more traditional fans. From the beginning, with a scene that some may find uncomfortable or distasteful, to the unfolding plot at a teenage costume party, the story seems to deviate from the characteristic tone and style of the series.

Additionally, the characters feel out of place, and the art doesn’t seem to align with the essence of Vampirella that readers know and appreciate. Despite attempts at humor, the text lacks depth and fails to achieve the emotional or narrative impact expected from a story involving Vampirella. 

However, it’s worth noting that the cover art by Alex Horley is particularly striking and captures the essence of Vampirella beautifully.”

0.68/10

10. Bugs (1993)

Art by ARTHUR ADAMS

Written by KURT BUSIEK – Art by ARTHUR ADAMS

The story unfolds within the depths of a centuries-old forest, cloaked in enigmatic shadows, as Vampirella embarks on a mission to unveil its mysteries and reconcile the conflict between humans and these elusive shadows. The script adopts a somewhat simplistic tone, reminiscent of the afternoon movies we enjoyed during our childhood. However, while the artwork possesses its own charm, it diverges significantly from the expected style found in Vampirella comics. Instead, it harkens back to the aesthetics of older Marvel comics, resulting in a departure from the character’s traditional portrayal.

3.0/10

09. Vampirella of Drakulon (1996)

Art by MARK TEIXEIRA

Written by FOREST J. ACKERMAN – Art by MARK TEIXEIRA

The planet Drakulon has a race that depends solely on blood to survive. Due to the intense heat, the planet is weak due to blood deprivation! Despite the good art by Mark Teixeira, this story leaves much to be desired.

Additionally, the premise of the story is intriguing, with a race reliant on blood in a harsh environment. However, the execution falls short, failing to fully explore the potential of this unique setting.

3.5/10

08. Matinee (2005)

Art by MICHAEL GOLDEN of VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

Written and Art by MICHAEL GOLDEN

The story unfolds during a movie matinee, with the main characters being children, apparently aged between 9 and 13. Like “Creepy Fearbook” (1993), the plot takes a more child-oriented approach, evoking memories of afternoon session movies.

However, there is a more interesting element: the children watch a horror movie in the theater, and one of them gets very scared. As the plot unfolds, while the children watch the movie, monsters approach them without them realizing it. Once again, Vampirella proves to be a heroine by saving the children. Additionally, she skillfully makes the children believe that it was just the end of the movie they watched, protecting their innocent minds.

Moreover, Michael Golden’s art is well executed, highlighting the horror and action elements that permeate the story. His ability to capture suspense and emotion adds depth to the narrative and enhances the reader’s experience.

Overall, “Matinee” offers a fun and exciting adventure. Although its more child-oriented approach may not appeal to all fans of the series, it’s an interesting addition to the Vampirella universe, providing a unique and memorable experience for readers.

4.5/10

07. Vampirella – The Killing Floor (2003)

Art by STEVE LIEBER of VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

Written and Art by STEVE LIEBER

Vampirella teams up with Hobby on a mission to investigate an unusual slaughterhouse, where blood is cultivated. Throughout the story, they encounter a cult trying to resurrect their leader through blood and evil practices. The art in this comic is in black and white, perfectly capturing the sinister scenes of this cursed cult.

5.2/10

06. Vampirella – Sanctuary (1999)

Art by CHRISTOPHER PRIEST of VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

Written by CHRISTOPHER PRIEST – Art by ALAN DAVIS

In this story, Vampirella emerges as a true heroine, battling demonic species to safeguard a baby’s life. In a surprising turn, she enlists the aid of priests and nuns from the Catholic Church. Christopher Priest unfolds a silent yet captivating narrative, made all the more compelling by the exquisite artwork of Alan Davis. Davis’s masterful illustrations infuse the story with palpable emotion, grounding the characters in reality and enhancing the overall experience from start to finish.

6.0/10

05. Vampirella – Looking for Mr. Goodwin (1999)

Art by TIM SALE of VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

Written By JEPH LOEB – Art by TIM SALE

Do you enjoy a good story where the narrator becomes as intriguing and captivating as, or even better than, the main character? Then, this story is for you! In “Looking for Mr. Goodwin”, Jeph Loeb introduces us to a narrator who is a renowned and acclaimed writer, endowed with wit and bravery to tell a story. As he narrates the story to us, we become increasingly involved with each panel, intrigued by both the unfolding plot and the writer himself. In the art, we have the excellent work of Tim Sale, known for his work on Batman and even Catwoman.

6.2/10

04. Vampirella – Lust for Life (1999)

Art by BRUCE TIM of VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

Written by TY TEMPLETON – Art by BRUCE TIM

Ty Templeton crafts a romantic tale where Vampirella finds herself deeply enamored with Jordan Sheppard, an exceptionally talented artist renowned for his portraits of beautiful and sensual women. Initially built on love and trust, their relationship takes a troubling turn as Sheppard’s betrayal unfolds, leaving readers both perplexed and distressed.

Bruce Tim, celebrated for his work on Batman, Superman, and Justice League, contributes stunning artwork to the story. His portrayal of Vampirella exudes passion, beauty, and sensuality, capturing the essence of the character flawlessly. Furthermore, Tim’s depiction of the other women in Sheppard’s paintings exudes a similar sensuality, enhancing the thematic depth of the narrative. The skillful use of colors further elevates the story, adding richness and depth to every panel.

6.5/10

03. Vampirella / Dracula: The Centennial – New European (1997)

Art by GARY FRANK of VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

Written by ALAN MOORE – Art by GARY FRANK

Readers familiar with Alan Moore’s iconic works, such as Watchmen, Swamp Thing, and The Killing Joke, understand the unparalleled quality of his writing. Moore’s storytelling skills have redefined the medium of comics. He infuses depth and coherence into every character and detail, ensuring a satisfying conclusion with no loose ends. This work is no exception to the rule.

In this Dracula story, Moore eschews traditional clichés. He presents readers with a fresh take on the iconic character, shrouded in mystery and intrigue. The motivations of this unknown Dracula remain enigmatic, adding an extra layer of depth to the narrative.

To complement Moore’s gripping tale, Gary Frank’s exquisite artwork adorns the pages. Featuring clean and modern illustrations, they evoke a heightened sense of terror and fear, even by today’s standards.

Breaking down the sentences makes the text clearer and easier to digest.

7.8/10

02. Vampirella – Angel of Mercy (2006)

Art by STEPHEN SEGOVIA of VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

Written by PHIL HESTER – Art by STEPHEN SEGOVIA

Like “Looking for Mr. Goodwin”, this story is also narrated by a character within the narrative and features Vampirella in search of this narrator. In this case, the narrator is a renowned tattoo artist, known for his iconic tattoos on figures like porn actors, high-level athletes such as Dennis Rodman, and even singer Gwen Stefani, for whom he tattooed a butterfly on the buttocks.

The tattoo artist begins by telling us about the day he met a beautiful, sensual, and seductive brunette woman who led him to hell. He involves us in his story, describing how irresistible she was and how he longed to possess her. He recounts the details of the encounter, from the seductive gaze to the moment when she, naked, asks him to tattoo her, requesting his “masterpiece.”

As he focuses on the tattoo, she tells a story that serves as an analogy for a crime the tattoo artist committed in the past, but he, fascinated by Vampirella’s beauty, fails to realize that the story refers to him. Upon completing the tattoo, Vampirella reveals herself as a vigilante, executing her revenge in a surprising and shocking way.

Stephen Segovia’s art is magnificent, perfectly capturing the elements of horror, action, comedy, and sensuality, with an erotic touch that complements the narrative exceptionally.

8.0/10

01. Vampirella – Winter Rose (2005)

Cover of Vampirella Comics Magazine 10 (2005) in VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

Written and Drawn by LIAM SHARP

Vampirella readers have encountered numerous romance stories featuring the character. But what distinguishes this one? The story, penned and illustrated by Liam Sharp in “Winter Rose,” stands out as a masterpiece deserving attention. The black-and-white art, featuring shades of gray, crafts a dark and evocative atmosphere, perfectly reflecting the winter setting and melancholic tone of the narrative.

The art vividly portrays reality, encompassing the characters’ mistrust, romance, sensual and erotic scenes, as well as moments of evilness. Inspired by Christina Georgina Rossetti’s poem “When I am Dead, My Dearest,” Sharp intertwines a tale of love, betrayal, and redemption, plunging readers into a world of mystery and danger. The plot centers on Vampirella and her lover, known only as “Lago,” who shroud their romance in dark and tragic secrets.

Their intense and passionate relationship also carries deep mistrust and an inevitable fate. As the story unfolds, readers embark on an emotional and disturbing journey, where the boundaries between love and destruction blur. Sharp’s art, stunning and detailed, elevates the narrative to new heights of excellence. Each page captivates with its conveyance of emotion, tension, and beauty.

“Winter’s Rose” transcends genre boundaries, delving into universal themes of love, sacrifice, and redemption with depth and sensitivity. It leaves a lasting impression on readers, etching itself in their minds long after the final page. All of these elements contribute to why this story is the standout in this compilation, deserving the highest honor.

Art by Liam Sharp Winter Rose of VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES compilation

9.0/10

Conclusion

At the end of this compilation, the reader has the pleasure of appreciating the covers of renowned artists such as Mike Mignola, David Mack, John Bolton (who even made the main cover of this compilation), Michael Golden, Jae Lee, Dan Brereton, and Dub & Pierre-Andre Dery. In the future, I will bring new posts of comic book stories to this blog, and of course, we will have Vampirella again. The order of the comics I presented does not necessarily signify the true order; it’s just my opinion. If you disagree, or if you would like to add something, please leave a comment.

Although this blog covers various subjects, I am excited to share even more incredible comic book stories in this space. I can’t wait to explore new worlds and characters together! Thank you for your support and for the opportunity to share this passion with all of you.

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