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Legenderry Vampirella: A Steampunk Adventure
Author: David Avallone
Illustrator: David T. Cabrera
Dynamite Entertainment, $17.99, 128pp
Published: December 2015

I have been a fan of Vampirella since I was a kid; yes, they actually had books back then... (muffled laugh). I'm also a big fan of the Steampunk genre so, when I discovered the Legenderry Vampirella graphic novel, it steamed up my goggles to be sure.

Vampirella is a spinoff miniseries from the Legenderry Universe, created by Bill Willingham. This volume collects issues 1-5 written by David Avallone and includes alternate cover art; the panel work is bright graphic eye candy to behold. The writing is well-done and does Vampirella justice.

The story begins about 36 hours after the events of Legenderry #7. In chapter 1, Vampirella returns from battle only to find that a corrupt politician, acting on secret orders from a shadowy Council of Supervillains, has shut down the Scarlet club; this club is owned and operated by Vampirella, under the guise of Madam Pendragon. As you can imagine, Vampirella doesn’t take kindly to this and goes on the hunt for the Council.

Chapter 2 begins with the Council bickering bitterly amongst themselves. It seems that their dark overlord demon has vacated the premises to run amok in the city himself, not a pleasant thought for all and sundry. Madam Pendragon has hired Mercy, a tough-as-nails woman, to help keep the club running when Madam's attention is needed elsewhere. It also sees the introduction of Rudolf Rassendyll, a delightful rogue and excellent swordsman, who follows Madam aka Vampirella when she goes to check out a warehouse at City Point, leading to an uneasy bonding after an exciting battle with a giant clockwork watchman.

In Chapter 3, the Council brings in Professor Van Helsing himself to help eradicate Vamperella in a late night raid on the Scarlet Club. With Mercy and Rudolf in attendance, she fights hard and kills well, yet shows more compassion than an average person will ever do; our heroine shows she's more than some low-life vampire bent on attacking the human race. Her reporter friend, Hildy, shows up at the end with the long-sought-after address for the Council, making Vampirella very happy indeed.

Chapters 4 sees Vampirella and Rudolf hooking up, and her drugging him to keep him from accompanying her to confront the Council. It shows her initial meeting and battle with those crazy supervillains. The tide turns and things begin to look bad for our heroine, leading into the final installment to our story.

Chapter 5 brings the epic conclusion to this exciting adventure. I will not go into spoiler territory, but there is a surprise twist in this one for those who love a good ending.

I really enjoyed this romp through the Monstrous Lands with our Steampunk Vampirella and will be on the hunt for more of the Legenderry Universe series to dazzle my senses. ~~ Dee Astell

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