Monday, May 4, 2009

Vampirella 107

An all Esteban Maroto reprint issue of Vampirella. This issue is cover dated August 1982. The cover is provided by Sanjulian.

First is "The Blood Red Queen of Hearts" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story), from Vampirella 49. Probably my favorite single Vampirella story in this magazine's history, although the Blood Red Queen would make many return appearances down the in later issues, each declining in quality. This story introduces the queen, who has slain six people, taking their hearts. With the acquisition of a seventh she believes she'll become the queen of Chaos. She summons a demon which she sends to take the final heart, from Vampirella. Vampi meanwhile returns to the hospital where Pendragon is kept and saves him by giving him a blood transfusion. The demon has hidden himself within Pendragon's body however, and attacks Vampi when the transfusion takes place. Adam meanwhile returns to the hospital, having been cleared due to Sara confessing to the attempted murder. Adam saves Vampirella and shoots out the demon's eyes, forcing it away. Vampirella is cleared of all charges, and Conrad is revealed to be alive, having been in hiding. Alas, the Queen does not have such a happy ending, with the demon tearing her eyes out to replace his. Some extremely good art by Maroto here in his first story featuring Vampirella herself (he'd do his second and last Vampi story in issue 50). The final page, showing the Queen's fate is particularly good.

Second is "Moonspawn" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story), from Vampirella 26. A very quick paced story with not much dialogue, it features the origin of werewolves on Earth, which occurs when a meteor crash mutates a wolf, which attacks a gypsy, turning him into a werewolf. He battles a fellow gypsy who stole his girlfriend and they both end up dying.

Third is "Black and White Vacuum to Blues" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story). This story was in color in its original appearance in Vampirella 34. Despite some very good art, 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.

Fourth is the first of a three part series featuring Dracula. This story is titled "The Circus of King Carnival", originally from Vampirella 39. Art is by Esteban Maroto and story is by Gerry Boudreau. This story was also in color in its original appearance. Despite being the title of the series, Dracula barely appears at all here. Instead the story focuses on a couple who come by a freak show that Dracula is a part of. The husband visits a shaman as he wants to save his dying wife, but the shaman tells him he'll have to bring him a human heart. The husband attacks a thief who is captivated by the butterfly lady in the freak show, and kills him to take the heart. Only the butterfly lady kills him. Meanwhile, Dracula bites the neck of the wife, preventing her from dying by turning her into a vampire.

Fifth is "Look What They've Done!" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Steve Skeates (story), from Eerie 36. This unique story breaks the fourth wall, having the lead character argue with the writer and plead to the reader. A hippie, he refuses to go along with the plot, and ends up getting killed by an alien.

Last is "Snow White and the Deadly Dwarfs" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Steve Skeates & Gerry Boudreau (story), from Vampirella 39. A young woman lives in a large mansion all by herself, well except for dwarves that live with her and call her snow white. Her boyfriend doesn't believe her about them, and when he comes over they stab him to death to 'protect her'. Only it ends up that the dwarves weren't after all and she did it all the stabbing herself. Some extremely good art by Maroto on this story, one of his best.

No comments: