Mild Spoilers Ahead
We jump back earlier into the year of 1969, before Red Sonja arrived in our world. At this point, Vampirella was frequenting punk rock concerts and finding companionship with the women in attendance. After an education in the racial tensions of the time, Vampirella stumbles upon a string of kidnappings of women. She tracks it back to a human trafficking operation and the kidnappers experience the vengeance of Vampirella.
Vampirella/Red Sonja #5 shows us what Vampirella was up to before her fateful encounter with Red Sonja. She struggles with the prejudices of the time and attempts to reconcile parts of it with her bare hands.
Needless to say, it’s a fairly dark story. Vampirella brushes up against a cruel human trafficking operation and deals with it as brutally and efficiently as possible. You can’t say that her actions aren’t justified, as the crime she brushes up against is among humanity’s gravest sins.
That said, Vampirella is punished for some ignorance of her own. Her early lesson about racism and sexism is turned around on her towards the end when a new friend discovers what Vampirella really is. It feels oddly incongruous, as Vampirella didn’t really seem to do anything to earn her punishment; she simply didn’t know about racism because she’s a recent immigrant from an alien planet.
Drew Moss gives the book a well-textured and atmospheric art treatment. He plays with shadows well and it makes the book fittingly seedy and bleak where it needs to be. The action scenes towards the end are effectively brutal and cathartic. Rebecca Nalty’s palette keeps the tone dark with a fittingly grim choice colors.
Vampirella/Red Sonja #5 is another solid issue with a dark story and excellent visual work. While the ending is a little unsatisfying at times, the overall book is a well-paced and enjoyable read. This one gets a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Vampirella/Red Sonja #5 comes to us from writer Jordie Bellaire, artist Drew Moss, color artist Rebecca Nalty, letterer Becca Carey, cover artist Julian Totino Tedesco, and variant cover artists Babs Tarr; Ben Oliver, Leonardo Romero with Jordie Bellaire, and Drew Moss
Final Score: 7.5/10
Mild Spoilers Ahead