Out March 25 from Dynamite Entertainment, RED SONJA & VAMPIRELLA MEET BETTY & VERONICA #10 finds half the quartet stranded on Drakulon. Will Betty and Veronica wind up as Vampiri food? Let’s find out.
Fay Dalton’s cover painting is a beautiful work of art. Dalton captures the essence of that late-60’s to early-70’s hippie mod style. The one suggestion to be made for improving the cover is the placement of the characters. They’re meant to look like they’re all lying together in a field. However, they look like individually posed characters that are stacked on top of each other on the page.
Amy Chu’s story gets right to the point. Betty and Veronica are kidnapped by Draculina and taken back to her homeworld. Along the way, the Riverdale natives are accosted by all sorts of strange characters. Draculina reveals her master plan to the reader before deciding to make Betty and Veronica her next meal.
Chu’s story does well in providing a fair bit of backstory into Vampirella’s people and the type of civilization that dominates her planet. Chu adds in a little cyborg action at the very end to hint at a future conflict between the worlds that could lead to war (or not). The story is deceptively simple, easy to read, and fun.
Laura Sanapo’s art draws you into an alien world inhabited by vampire-like humanoids. It’s an excellent example of world-building. Sanapo’s character designs are consistent with what we know of Vampirella, and yet, the characters are just different enough to stand on their own as individuals.
Sanapo’s one flaw in the art is the costume designs on the Vampiri that are not Draculina. The locals are wearing tattered button-down shirts and slacks. However, Draculina goes out of her way early in the issue to describe her very skimpy outfit as typical for the Drakulon weather. When we finally see other locals, their garb does not match what Draculina describes in any way.
Favorite Panel/Page: Page 4 is the favorite of this issue. It’s a full-page panel depicting starving Vampiri dive-bombing the group to claim their next meal. It’s our favorite for capturing everything that works best for this issue from the scorching Drakulon heat in the colors to expert lettering on the sound effects to an excellent inking job that shows the flying threat in stark silhouette.
Drakulon is a hot, barren wasteland, and Mohan pulls off the feeling of heat and oppression in the use of colors. The sky is not blue and sunny as a day at the beach, but scorched and hazy like nearly every scene from a Mad Max film.
Taylor Esposito and Rieanna Bates focus their talents almost entirely on the dialog. There is no narration at all, and the only sound effects you’ll find are in the one fight scene against hungry Vampiri locals. That said, the dialog lettering matches the ink art exceptionally well.
RED SONJA & VAMPIRELLA MEET BETTY & VERONICA #10 is a fun and “out there” issue. It lays the groundwork and motivation for a potential battle between Earth and Drakulon with high stakes (no pun intended).