VAMPIRELLA STRIKES by Tom Sniegoski and Johnny Desjardins
Tom Sniegoski has been writing about angels for a few years now in his books about Remy Chandler, so it’s no real surprise that he digs further into that subject in Vampirella Strikes. The graphic novel collects the six issues that comprise the limited issue run.
The story starts off with a bang that brought echoes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer into it, then moves smoothly into angel territory with a nifty character named Janus, who is a fallen angel himself. Janus is also the name of the Greek god with two face, one looking forward and one looking back, that was inscribed a lot on the main gates of cities back in the day.
In the graphic novel, Janus is a balance between good and evil, a supposedly neutral force in the world. I wish we’d gotten to know him a little more, but the story is pretty much a charging primeval force that doesn’t slow down except to reel in other necessary characters or backstory.
In addition to action, Sniegoski also weaves in some cool angel weapons and history. I loved the dual pistols that Janus wields instead of the flaming sword we have to assume he was more accustomed to.
There’s so much going on in the story that Vampirella almost feels like a secondary character in her own strip. She has a motive for being involved, but it doesn’t get challenged along the way. She just stays the course. Although, at the end, she gets a really great scene that a lot of fans will love because it adds a new dimension to Vampi.
I know Dynamite has made a decision to get away from the whole alien vampire from Drakulon thing, but I liked the campy science fiction basis of the heroine more. This version is a little dark for my taste, and I miss some of the old supporting characters.
Johnny Desjardins draws Vampirella as well as anyone out there, and I like his backgrounds and his panel breakdowns a lot. The pages are action packed, filled with varying perception points so they look different.
Vampirella Strikes is a fun read and will satisfy readers looking for Vampi, supernatural action, or Sniegoski’s take on angels.