Writer: John Smith
Artist: Mike Mayhew
For Vampirella this issue is an interlude, yet the full-length set-up is a meaty one. We learn more about the Circus. Vampirella reinforces her status for new readers: kick-ass supernatural crimefighter with dangerous abilities who takes no guff.
A new character, Mr. Smith introduces, but such is his sense of timing that the new player seems as though she belongs. The dialogue indicates an already established relationship between she and Vamp. Such a technique in writing is as fragile as the wings of a dragonfly. Such failings as bad timing, unnatural dialogue that poorly exposits and a lack of chemistry can saboutage the writer's efforts. Mr. Smith did the same thing with Harry who plausibly becomes Vampirella's aide-de-camp. Ophidia seems as if she always has been part of Vampirella's adventures, and you actually care about what happens to her.
Mike Mayhew returns with his ultrarealistic paintings that can only be surpassed by Alex Ross' heroic Norman Rockwells. Thee are less recognizable models to be found in the panels--though Cyndi Lauper may be the inspiration for Ophidia's beautiful, striking countenance.
The best about the artwork is how painting from real life does not stiffen the characters in static photographs. Vampirella while being beautifully brushed still engages in violent action. Her subtle and not so subtle but realistic expressions strengthen the strong personality in Mr. Smith's words.
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