Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vampirella 32

Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, cover dated April 1974. Quite a different looking cover than Enrich's usual fare, making me wonder if it was painted in acrylic rather than oil.

First is Vampirella in "The Running Red" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew). Vampi and Pendragon are called to perform for Kruger, a wealthy, evil weapons magnate. Vampi gets upset when Kruger causes another to kill himself after losing all his money to him. Vampi also meets the handsome 'Traveler', who bet his soul when gambling, but was permitted eternal life. Traveler takes on Kruger in a high stakes game of roulette and Kruger loses everything, including his life after his angry mistress pushes him into a spiked fence. Traveler however quickly ages to death, it appears that he broke the pact that gave him eternal life when he helped take down Kruger for Vampi. Kruger's mistress would reappear in the next issue.

Next is the third Pantha story, "Black on White" by Auraleon (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A man becomes obsessed with Pantha after recalling an old man he had met being killed by her. He investigates and eventually comes upon her, only for her to change into a panther and kill him. The darkness of this series continues, a stark contrast to the silliness of Pantha's later appearances.

Third is the color story "Harry" by Jeff Jones (story & art). A very fast paced story at only 6 pages, it features a little girl walking around with her stuffed bunny rabbit Harry. Talking to herself, it becomes clear that her parents were killed in a fire because they didn't like him. Her head starts hurting and she collapses; someone else later finds Harry.

An even shorter color story from Jones is next, "Dead Run", at a mere 2 pages long. This very quick story features a man with an oxygen mask who is first in some woods, then in space, encountering death itself.

Fifth is "The Man Whose Soul Was Spoiling!" by Fernando Fernandez (story & art). A top assassin, Dino, kills a lover of his and a friend whom he thinks is having an affair with her. He then seeks to topple his own superiors. His henchmen however start noticing a very odd stench coming out of him. It ends up that he is so evil that his soul is actually rotting. This causes all his allies to leave him, and he has to go on the run, eventually becoming a bum that even the homeless avoid. This results in the only solution he has to the problem, suicide.

Last is "Just Like Old Times" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). This story tells two stories, one featuring a man who discovers that his wife and best friend are having an affair. He kills the wife, then brings the friend on a hunting trip where he kills him two. The other story tells of a long sleeping demon. The demon ends up waking up just as our protagonist kills his friends in the woods. Some very good art by Torrents here, the demon is extremely scary looking.

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