Sunday, April 26, 2009
Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, cover dated June 1974. Jeff Jones provides the frontis "Extraordinary Verse" based on the William Blake poem "Tyger Tyger". Quite a good issue, with only one poor story.
First is "The Carnival of Death" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew). Traveling in Venice, Vampirella and Pendragon meet Zymer, a cruel man who Vampirella gets upset at after he forces participation in a russian roulette type game. Meanwhile a rich couple invites many old friends to a ball they are having, and an invitation ends up going to Zymer too. A large group heads to the ball with Zymer, where they find that the other guests are actually corpses! Vampirella finally snaps, killing Zymer by draining his blood. They depart, leaving the rich couple with their dead friends.
Second is "Miranda" by Felix Mas (art) and Fred Ott (story). A rich man obsessed with marrying women with deformities visits an old woman, wanting to meet and marry her niece, Miranda. The old woman allows him to meet Miranda, who is a freak with praying mantis arms, but the old woman refuses to let him take her, even with him offering a million dollars for her. When the old woman sleeps, the rich man and Miranda run off together however. The old woman heads to their house, but it is too late. As part praying mantis, Miranda has already killed and eaten him.
Third is "From the Spain of Legend" featuring the character Fleur, in her first of four appearances. Art is by Ramon Torrents while story is by John Jacobson. Richard, a traveling Earl visits a fellow noble, Chelidonius, seeking lodging while he returns home from the Crusades. Chelidonius tricks the Earl, having him locked up as an accussed witch so he can take over his property. Within the prison Richard meets Fleur, a woman who claims to actually be a witch. When it is time for the 'witches' to be burned at the stake, Fleur kills their captors and escapes with Richard. Richard however attacks her since she is a real witch, and Fleur kills him.
Fourth is "Black and White Vacuum to Blues" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story). Bill Dubay provides the color. Despite some very good art and coloring, this is a poor, very confusing story about a clown being pursued through the old west, space, and other places. It ends up that the clown is just a character on television.
Fifth is "Recurrence!" by Jose Bea (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A young woman murders her husband by pushing him down an elevator shaft. After collecting the insurance money from his death she starts having strange dreams of being pushed off a cliff by a small dwarf like creature. Eventually she sees him for real while driving and drives off a cliff, which results in her falling to her death.
Last is "Cold Cuts" by Jeff Jones (art) and Berni Wrightson (story). Terrific contributions from these two, with Wrightson providing his only writing credit for a story he didn't draw as well. The story features a man in a winter wilderness who shoots a deer and carries it with him. Meanwhile his wife is snowbound in a cabin with a colleague of his who attacks her. While the hunter thinks about providing for his wife, the colleague's body is mutilated, as if he was being prepared to eat.