I mentioned it yesterday, and I read it last night and today as I sat around a doctor’s waiting room – Vampirella: Blood Invasion, the first Vampirella novel written by Nancy A. Collins and published by the fiction branch of Dynamite publishing is a very fast read, and a fun one.
For the uninitiated, Vampirella is a character created fifty years ago as a host for a series of anthology magazines, that later evolved into an indie comic-book character in her own right, with her own universe, recurring characters, timeline and everything.
Often dismissed as a vampiric rip-off of Barbarella, and criticized by its open sexiness, the raven-haired and very scantly clad vampiress is a lot more than just a pin-up. She has in fact quite a nice track record, as comics characters go, with some great story arcs through the decades, and some excellent art and writing by some of the industry’s best names.
And really, the name of Nancy Collins on this one was for me the reason to put the book in my wishlist – much more than Vampi’s Frazetta-designed graces, it was the author that sold me the book.
I was never an all-out Vampirella fan, but much more a fan of Collins (and of Sanjulian, but that’s another story).
But luckily for the non-fans, Collins’ novel provides a quick summary of the essentials as it drives us headlong a rather unexpected scenario: our planet is invaded by Vampirella’s kin, the living vampires from the moribund planet Drakulon, and Vampi needs to decide on which side her loyalties stand.
As the battle rages, she’s joined by some unexpected allies.
The novel breakneck pace fits the comic book origins of the character and while the plot follows a familiar format, a few twists are both surprising and fun: the reveal of the Resistance’s secret headquarters was a good laugh-aloud bit. That, and the President of the US’ small hands.
One’s mileage may vary about the silly names – but that’s the comic-book canon, and one needs to take Drakulon at face value.
More B-movie SF than horror, with some not-so-subtle subtexts about the current situation of our planet, Vampirella: Blood Invasion is a good start for what I hope will be an ongoing series.