on January 18, 2013
[Vampirella Masters Series, Volume 5 - 2011 - Dynamite Publications] This, for me, was the weakest edition of the Dynamite collections we'll ever see (thankfully), as they were dredging up some old fodder from 1991-92 with the 'Morning in America' story, which originally appeared in B+W and heralded Harris Comics 're-vamping' of this icon. Adding color makes it look even worse though, more comic-like than later editions. The story was sluggish, the artwork the worst I've seen in any Vampi tale, the page layout like something from an early 60's DC comic. It's dated, uninspired and our luscious heroine never looked worse or more sexless (how is this possible?), and had a bad hair day too. In spite of the reemergence of old Warren key players like Pendragon and Adam, it's pretty much a write-off (no pun intended). It's almost 200 pages of convoluted confusion, and too wordy trying to stretch back in Vampi's mythos while moving forward in a 90's timeline, but ends up like being on a treadmill - when all's said and done, we've gone nowhere. Kurt Busiek is just an acceptable writer who seems to constantly be rehashing old characters and villains (the Cult of Chaos, The Crimson Chronicles) from the golden age of Warren Vampirella sagas without really adding much of his own vision, IMO.
Thankfully, this edition's salvaged by the artwork of Jim Balent and Louis Small Jr. in the four-part 'Dracula War' from 1993 and, though it too was penned by Kurt Busiek, the combo of story and art is a vast improvement, and reason enough to bag this if you never read it before. Almost all the Dynamite collections are essential reading for Vampi aficionados, some are downright glorious (read my reviews of all), but this one doesn't offer much bang for your Dynamite buck. 3 stars at best.