As Dynamite prepares for her 50th anniversary, Vampirella is back once again with a new adventure which aims to entice a whole new generation of readers. Rocking her iconic red outfit, she intends to put a stop to a vicious sexual predator who roams the streets of Philadelphia. Her plan is quickly put into disarray however when another familiar face seeking revenge unexpectedly appears. With both plans thwarted, they have to decide whether to team up or remain at odds whilst the vicious killer remains at large.
What sounds like an intriguing premise is unfortunately let down due to a poor execution. Whether it’s the dated dialogue or the clunky narrative, there are many reasons as to why the first issue falls flat. Written by Kristina Deak-Linsner, there’s not a whole lot here that’ll satisfy long-time readers nor is there enough to draw in a new crowd. With much of the writing feeling lazy and predictable, it’s hard to connect with any of the characters when their main purpose is to spout out a load of exposition.
One of the biggest problems Roses for the Dead faces, is its lack of overall identity. Without a hint of any real horror, one would think they’d concentrate on the campy, tongue and cheek nature of the character instead. Sadly both the horror and the fun are severely lacking and with a bunch of underwhelming artwork to match, we’re left with what can only be described as a lacklustre first issue.
When it comes to a character such as Vampirella, the worst thing a writer can do is play it safe. With an opening issue that avoids plenty of potential hot topics, it feels as if the character has been neutered in more ways than one. Whether it’s the gothic horror, the sex appeal or the vibrant world she inhabits, it all seems to be lost in the pages to her latest adventure.
Overall, Vampirella: Roses for the Dead is a disappointing misfire which fails to attract both hardcore fans and new readers alike. With a predictable plot, paper-thin characters and no real hook to keep readers from coming back, Kristina Deak-Linsner will have to up the ante if this series wants to lure more unexpecting victims into the life and mythology of Vampirella.
VAMPIRELLA: ROSES FOR THE DEAD / AUTHOR: KRISTINA DEAK-LISNER / ARTIST: JOSEPH MICHAEL LINSNER / PUBLISHER: DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW