Friday, May 16, 2008
Vampirella starts to move towards a series based magazine starting with this issue. The cover by Enrich features Vampirella in a very strange (and impossible to make) pose, but otherwise is quite good.
First up is "The Insane Alchemist" by Pablo Marcos & Rudy Nebres (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). An alchemist named McMather seeks to create a monster with human blood, but has no success so he tries to use Vampirella's blood instead. He lures her and her allies to his castle due to his prior relationship with Conrad Ven Helsing, and drugs them all. Vampirella's blood does cause the monster to come to life, but Vampi battles it and defeats both it and McMather.
Second is Pantha's return to her own series, "The Eye of Anubis" with art by Leo Duranona & Alex Toth (credited as Atoz) and story by Rich Margopoulos. Pantha moves in with Adam Van Helsing, but a thief breaks in and steals a necklace which transforms him into an alien creature whose race had battled Drakulon in the past. Eventually the creature is defeated when Adam removes the necklace from him.
Third is "Devil Woman" by Alfredo Alcala (art) and Don Glut (story). The letters page implied that this would be the start of a series, but this was its only entry. In the prehistoric era, a woman whose mate has been killed by a dinosaur is accused of being a devil after killing the chief, who tried to rape her. She is driven out of her tribe, and eventually kills the dinosaur that killed her mate.
Fourth is "Dead Ringer" by Auraleon (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). An out of work actor is approached by a man who wants him to pretend to be his son, who was recently murdered, so he can discover his killer. Our protagonist gets plastic surgery to look like the son, then through his work discovers that he was killed because he witnessed a mob hit. Only it ends up that the son was alive all along, having had surgery to look like the actor, and our protagonist was set up to be killed in his place. Luckily everything works out in the end as the true son is killed by the mob and our protagonist returns to his old life.
Last is "Revenge Inc." by Anton Caravana (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). Caravana was a pretty good artist whose style was quite similar to Alcala's. Unfortunately he'd pass away around 1982, cutting his Warren career short after only a few stories. After being rejected by a doctor, a woman hires Revenge Inc. to destroy his life. They succeed, but when she meets up with him again he tricks her into thinking she's been poisoned and she ends up dying in a car crash. Revenge Inc. then approaches him with a job offer since he's now got nothing to lose.
Overall, a so-so issue. The stand alone stories are pretty good, but none of the series based ones have all that much to offer.