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on September 9, 2012
[VAMPIRELLA MASTERS SERIES, VOLUME SIX] Dynamite has done it again with this compiled edition of our favorite vampiric seductress's sagas, with solid roots in Greek, Roman and Christian folklore as penned by James Robinson, with bewitching and stunning neorealist artwork paintings by the incomparable Joe Lusko. A compelling rewriting of Vampirella's death, resurrection and backstory on her mother Lilith's true history, what actually transpired on Drakulon and how this all has ties to Hell and the river Styx, this tale's not to be missed by any Vampi fan, either new or old.

'Bloodlust' is the main story and the real reason to sink your teeth into this book without hesitation, for the reasons outlined above, as well as others. Vampirella has never been rendered better or more realistically fetching to the eye, bone-fetching in fact. Lord knows there has never been a superior bloodsucking sexually superlative icon since she appeared on the cover of the first issue of her own Warren mag way back in 1969, brought to near-perfect realization by legend Frank Frazetta, and my bets are that there never will be. But here, she embodies all that is the core of her character, her conflicts, and her captivating carnality. Every panel is jaw-dropping, and to see Adam Van Helsing transformed into the Herculean anti-hero is another stroke of brilliance. It's mandatory for aficionados.

'Vampi vs. Dracula' is a post-modern retelling of an original tale from 1972 that's well-done, especially for newer fans, though I believe the original was better (and it was in B+W!) and concerns the Cult of Chaos and the Crimson Chronicles, for those who remember such details or collect the also-excellent Vampirella Archive series from Dynamite. I'm not knocking it, I enjoyed it as a blast from the past.

Lastly comes 'Two So Different', a thoughtful treatise on alternate or parallel planes, where Bram Stoker and Archie Goodwin (Vampi's original story-teller) sit in a library discussing the two very different tales of vampire characters they are currently penning and how history will remember them both. They are also sharing space with their two progeny, Drac and Vampi, one of whom thinks he can alter his future outcome by doing something unspoken to his creator, but his female counterpart has other ideas. It's a brilliant conception, but the artwork is the weakest offered here. But the novelty more than excuses this shortcoming.

Without hesitation, I heartily recommend this edition to all possessing a beating heart, as 'Bloodlust' pumps sanguine and lust unequivocally. It does a heart good...
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