Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vampirella 55

A mostly reprint issue of Vampirella. The cover is by Sanjulian, a redo of of his cover for issue 36.

First is "The Resurrection of Papa Voodoo!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story's originally from issue 15. Vampi and friends are in Cote de Soleil, where they meet Paul Giraud, who warns them of a secret police who worked for the former ruler, known as Papa Voudou. Working to bring back Papa Voudou is Madame Dominique and Colonel Ramm, who have kidnapped Conrad. They bring back Papa Voudou, but he is a rotting corpse, so they seek to restore his body by using spells of Chaos. Vampi and friends interfere and Adam and Giraud are heavily wounded. Vampirella saves Adam's life through a blood transfusion of her own blood, but are unable to stop Dominique and Ramm from blackmailing Conrad into casting their spell. However, it ends up restoring Giraud's wounds rather than Voudou's body, so he kills the both of them then is burned to his final death by Vampirella.

Next is "And Be a Bride of Chaos" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), originally from issue 16. Vampi and Pendragon are hired to perform for Count Dracula himself, who is holding a meeting of various members of the Cult of Chaos to decide who will be the bride of Chaos and bear his child. While one of the priestesses, Lucretia strongly desires to be the bride, Dracula chooses Vampirella instead and takes her captive. Dracula tells of his origin, about how he is originally from Drakulon and is able to take on the bodies of various people. Conrad Van Helsing arrives and tries to kill Dracula, but the powers given to him by Chaos prevent him from dying. Vampirella arrives however, freed by Lucretia, and rescues Conrad. Chaos takes Dracula's powers away and he crumbles into dust since the stake remains in his heart. Lucretia meanwhile, as a mere mortal crumbles to dust upon Chaos's arrival.

The issue's sole new story is "The Corpse With the Missing Mind" by Jose Gonzalez(art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is in color. Vampirella and Pendragon attend the funeral of a rich old friend of his, Hunt who he hasn't seen in decades. Another friend of Hunt's arrives, Charlie, who knocks out both of them. When they awaken, they find themselves in what appears to be Alice in Wonderland. It ends up that Hunt is alive after all, by preserving his brain and eyes in a tank. He hoped to do something good for once which is why he created the Wonderland, which he plans to allow people in for free.

The issue concludes with "The Lurker in the Deep!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), originally from issue 13. Vampi joins the cruise of a famous playboy named Triton, who in actuality is luring victims to the ocean to be provided to a fish like demon that he has a pact with. Mistakenly thinking that Vampirella worships the evil god Chaos, he falls in love with her, but the jealous fish demon considers this a break of their pact and destroys his ship and him. Sandwiching this tale is short segments featuring Adam and Conrad Van Helsing. Conrad, at this point believing Vampi is responsible for his brother's death wants to kill her while Adam reveals that he's fallen in love with her. A fairly good Vampi story from early in its run.

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