The beauty of a one-shot comic is it’s usually out of canon with the series proper and is generally just a little piece of fluff that a general reader can enjoy given their interest in that particular comic book. Good for me then, in this case, as I have no knowledge of the character Vampirella. All I know of her is based on the pin-ups I constantly see where she’s depicted in her skimpy bathing suit-type thing that barely seems to be keeping her breasts from jumping out at any given moment. I have no clue as to what’s happening in her on-going title, which is probably for the best. Fans of Vampirella, feel free to defend the character to me in the comments.
Anywhoozle, just in time for Halloween – or afterwards as the case may be – we have a little one-shot from Dynamite Comics written by Mark Rahner with art by Cezar Razek that pits the titular character versus Fluffy the Vampire Killer. Take a moment and let that one sink in. As I’m sure this comic is meant for the readers of my generation, isn’t it great to see a Buffy reference? The comic is entirely tongue-in-cheek, paying homage to Buffy the Vampire Slayer Mad Magazine style. There’s also a great nod to most horror movies as the town of…whatever is the mirror universe version of Sunnydale… is beseiged by a group of demonic Puritans attacking people for having sex. Fluffy and her little Scooby gang of Xtanley, Sallow, and her minder Miles, are on the case, but they assume that the deaths involve vampires. So when Vampirella shows up, under the guise of a teacher named Ms. Normandy, she’s suspect number one until things get sorted out and the whole team starts working together to stop the baddies.
As a standalone comic, it’s not bad. The focus of the comic centers a lot more on Fluffy and her group than I thought. Vampirella just shows up and becomes an asset to the group…after a fight based on a misunderstanding, of course. The comic is very good at capturing the Joss Whedon formula of a typical Buffy episode while still commenting on many of the tropes within a Buffy episode. The most prominent moment is the fight between Fluffy and Vampirella. Fluffy quips with extreme alacrity to the point that Vampirella is just not having it anymore. She can’t even understand how a person could have that much verbal ammunition ready for a fight. Fluffy, in turn, is equally critical of Vampirella and her whole, ya know, being Vampirella thing. Seriously, how does her costume stay put while she’s running around? It’s a hilariously meta conversation in a comic that is made of meta. Throw in some dialogue about female empowerment and feminism achieved! The rest of the comic is basically calling back to the long-standing horror trope of sex = death. The demonic Puritans happen to be attacking during abstinence week at the high school, but their attacks aren’t meant to kill, just maim to the point that the person or persons involved will be so disfigured that they’ll never have sex again. Fucking Puritans and their…puritanical ways! Oh, and it may have something to do with a demon that feeds on repressed carnality and blah, blah, blah. You know the drill.
As a former viewer of Buffy and its spin-off, Angel, this comic was clearly meant for me and my slayer-watching brethren, though the frequent callbacks to the names of the characters as a reminder of who they’re meant to represent in the Buffy universe became a bit groan-worthy. Yes, we get it, very clever, but I did like Cherub as the counterpart to Angel. You got me there, comic. The art is definitley a highlight, especially the demonic Puritans. Something about undead religious fanatics with bleeding eyes and swords just seems a bit unsettling, ya know? And while cheesecake is a staple of this book and the horror genre, the artwork doesn’t overdo it save for one or two splash pages of Vampirella in full on skimpy attire. But we shouldn’t judge her because she’s proud of what she wears, dammit! Overall, it’s a decent enough one-shot to satisfy the Vampirella fans as well as give that extra nod to the horror genre and Buffy fans alike. The writing is solid and so is the art, which makes for a good enough reason to pick up a comic in my book.