Comic Book Review: Vampironica #5
While I did feel as though the previous issue of Vampironica left something to be desired, there was still another leg to this story to look forward to when Veronica faces off against the one at the top. Does she really understand what she has turned into in order to face someone who may very well have her outmatched from the jump? Can the others really think their way out of a pool surrounded by vampires? That’s what we’re here to find out!
I’m not going to lie that I was a bit caught off guard by the one at the top being a giant spider. Not exactly what you picture when you think of the big bad that is starting a vampire uprising. You kind of picture something a bit more demonic, or at the very least resembling a vampire more than anything else. Regardless, this issue throws us straight into that confrontation. I was prepared for a little direct action, but what we actually got was a lot better. When you’re dealing with vampires, it’s not just a bunch of biting and slashing that you should brace yourself for. Sometimes the challenge can be mental, and that adds a whole new layer of horror that most are not bold enough for. When it comes to someone like Veronica, that is a big challenge since we can all be honest with ourselves that she isn’t the one of the smartest in Riverdale. Not to say that she’s dumb, but she’s certainly not an expert in areas like this.
With that said, Veronica overcame each challenge the best way that someone such as herself can. With genuine confidence in who she is and her own worth. When they said that these challenges would be brutal, that was not a lie. From the very first challenge she stumbled into, they did not pull punches to try to break her on the spot. That was a great way to set the tone for what was still to come until Veronica got to her destination.
I was only a bit disappointed by the way that this ended when the time came to face Veronica last mind game. As I said last month, I was very anxious to see a big smackdown between Veronica and the vampire at the top. That’s usually how these things go, but what we actually got was a little anti-climatic. There was so much build-up and nothing much to tie it up that would have made this confrontation memorable. That doesn’t mean that the way that Veronica overcame each obstacle wasn’t fierce, but it also doesn’t mean that that all shouldn’t have led to something grander.
As for the rest of the characters back at Cheryl’s party, the suspense was certainly there as well. They played into that fear very well because it would have taken some thinking outside of the box in order to get out of their situation. They could have been waited out, someone could have slipped up if they tried to make a move, or their efforts could have been in vain if Veronica didn’t pull through on her end. It was just thing after thing that you were bracing yourself for when nothing was certain for their survival.
With this issue, I felt more at ease with the changing of art teams that came in Vampironica #4. Even if it would have helped having the same artist working on this from start to finish, it didn’t hurt to bring in a team that could match that same style of artwork in a way that doesn’t leave you wanting. What stood out most from the interior work was the character focus on Veronica during the mind games that she was put through. That stress and frustration that she was put through could only have been matched with the confidence she carried every step of the way to show that she could not be brought down by unseen forces. That presence of hers says so much more than words ever could. The same can be said for the atmospheric color choice that consistently put us in that mood where anything could happen. The use of reds and blues did not go overlooked in that regard. Neither did the grainy overlay that gave this a classic horror vibe.
I unfortunately expected a bit more than what we got from the events of Vampironica #5. There was a lot they could have done to go out with a bang, and I hate to say that it felt like they played it safe with this story. For the most part this was still a thrilling twist to a version of Veronica that you would not see under different circumstances. I remain confident at the end of the day that I also look forward to what the future has in store for this Vampironica who still at the very least has a crossover story coming out next year.