By: Mark Henely
I love a good crossover. Who doesn’t? One of the best things about being a comic book fan in 2015 is that all sorts of classic characters are meeting for the first time. In the past year alone, Stark Trek met Planet of the Apes, Django met Zorro, and Archie met Predator. When two completely unrelated intellectual properties meet for the first time (like Aliens and Vampirella), something magical can happen. The first issues of these mini-series are often very exciting and well worth the read. But, a few issues in, the novelty starts the wear off and the mini-series has to survive off the strength of the story itself. In other words, watching a vampire drink acidic alien blood was very cool in Aliens Vampirella #1, but what could writer Corinna Bechko and artist Javier Garcia Miranda show readers in Aliens Vampirella #3 that will wow them the same way that they did in issue one?
This might seem unrelated, but I hate the Underworld movie series. I think those movies are boring and I have never been able to sit through one beginning to end. The concept is strong (I would love to watch Vampires fight Werwolves), but the execution was uninspired. You had two monsters battling it out with all their superpowers and sharp teeth, but it always seemed like they were just shooting each other with guns. Any human can shoot a gun, so why were the filmmakers wasting their opportunity to stage Vampires vs. Werwolves with endless gun fights? What I wanted, as a reader of Aliens Vampirella, were massive fights that showcased vampires using their powers to fight aliens that were also using their powers. The first two issues delivered this in spades with aliens bursting out of stomachs and Vampirella using her wings to escape certain death. But, issue three seems to have given crowd pleasing action a backseat to focus on the story. Sure, there are still some fun, gory moments, but story is king in this issue.
Fortunately, the story is pretty strong. Vampirella and Lars, a human scientist, are desperately trying to find a way off of an alien infested space station while the other human astronauts debate about weather they should cut their losses and sacrifice the spaceship (as well as the lives of Vampirella and Lars) in order to kill the alien menace. The dialogue is well written and the way the story plays out was very surprising. Don’t get me wrong, the story isn’t the second coming of Watchman by any means, but it paints a pretty compelling argument against paranoia. It’s compelling enough that I’m genuinely looking forward to the next issue.
Ultimately, I’m going to give this issue a 6 out of 10 stars because it is the least exciting of the three. The story is still interesting and if the last three issues can bring back the action, then I think this mini-series will make a very fun graphic novel. Unfortunately, the story just isn’t deep enough to survive on story alone. You could buy worse this week, but if you are looking for big action moments, this isn’t the chapter for you.
Rating: 6 out of 10
***Mark Henely is a stand up comedian, podcaster, and comic book fan. He went to Rutgers University where he officially studied English Literature and unofficially studied Marvel and DC Comics. Now he has a podcast where he reviews the first appearances of Comic Book characters. It is called “Introducing… The First Appearance Podcast” and you can check it out on iTunes and Stitcher. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/introducing…the-first-appearance/id993523477 ***