Sunday, October 26, 2008

Vampirella 78

A photo of Barbara Leigh is on the cover of this issue of Vampirella.

Up first is "Kiss of the Dragon Queen", the latest Vampirella story. Art is by Gonzalo Mayo and story is by Bill Dubay. Our heroes, including Vampi, Pantha, Adam, Conrad and Pendragon are in Hong Kong where a dragon has been appearing. Pantha and Vampi are being set up by a man pretending to be a movie producer. The dragon meanwhile is killed, revealed to be a crocodile, but it is rumored that the real dragon is still out there. Not that good a Vampirella story, unfortunately.

Second is "Little Guy" by Auraleon (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This story surrounds a very short man at a circus who a colleague desires to help him in a robbery by hiding in a crate due to his small size. his wife tells him that she'll leave him if it does it, so he refuses, but the collegue murders her to get him to do it. Rather than do what he asks however, the small man instead cuts off his colleague's legs and puts him in the crate.

Third is "Passion" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Steve Englehart (story). A rather confusing story featuring a soldier who calls himself Errol Flynn fighting for the French Legion. He is a very strange man, as discussed by his fellow soldier. He leaves a brothel, passing up sex, and refuses to fight, willing to go to jail instead. When he has no choice but to fight, a Tyranosaurus Rex suddenly appears and eats him. A rather odd, confusing ending which I find a hard time understanding.

Next is "The Service" by Jim Starlin & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bruce Jones (story). This story initially starts out with a woman and a lover who comes back to sleep with her every few months, but never can stay that long. It ends up that the man is actually a robot who she pays to come sleep with her, and when he breaks down she asks a repairman to come, who ends up being an actual human man, something which the women had pretty much wiped out from the universe entirely. In order to protect his secret, the woman has him stay and sleep with him, as well as become essentially a slave while he repairs her robot. He is forbidden from leaving when the robot becomes fixed since she has become so used to him. She says that he can't kill him as she files a weekly report that will cause people to come after him if they suddenly stop, but he outsmarts her by killing her and creating a robot copy of her to do the reports instead.

Last is "Zooner or Later" by Russ Heath (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A terrific, terrific story, probably one of Warren's best 20 stories ever. A man finds out he is dying of cancer, so he tries desperately to find any way to save himself, from experimental drugs to faith healers to even devil worshippers. All attempts fail. He learns of a tribe called the Zooner from a cook who says hold the power to reincarnate someone with the mind that they had before they died. He heads to Africa where he initially finds it a meaningless lead, but a drunk at a bar tells him how to find them. He finally does find the Zooner, who worship the Hippopotomus and they sacrifice him. He awakens as an embryo, very excited to be soon born again, but when he is born, it is as a baby Hippo!

No comments: