Vampirella vs. the Cult of Chaos |
by Archie Goodwin, various artists
(Harris/Dark Horse, 1991)
Actor Jack Nicholson recommended that actors let "the costume doing the acting" when playing supervillains.
Vampirella is all about the costume, and her scanty clothing is all about lust. Nevertheless, under writer Archie Goodwin's pen, her adventures were more about the writer's homage to the myths created by horror writers H.P. Lovecraft and Bram Stoker.
Vampi was an alien from a planet where rivers flowed with blood. On Earth, she controlled her thirst with a serum that, like most of her ongoing cast, was created by Goodwin. Misunderstood and pursued by most as a blood-thirsty vampire, Vampi spent much of her time fighting the Cult of Chaos headed by evil from the stars (Lovecraft) and Dracula (Stoker).
It took Goodwin two poorly written and weakly drawn stories to find his artistic footing with Vampirella. Those stories, illustrated by Tom Sutton, kick off this volume.
By her third adventure, artist Jose Gonzales had taken a stake (groan) in the series, and Vampi eventually became the second most famous female in comics history. Those stories are also reprinted and, with Goodwin's improved writing, saved the series from being junk.
Gonzales' beautiful, reality-based art was as important to her success as was Goodwin's writing, and many of her first adventures from the pages of Vampirella can befound in Vampirella vs. the Cult of Chaos. Although not Goodwin's best work, this collection is recommended for light entertainment.
by Michael Vance