Who doesn’t love Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? The horror icon first gained fame by hosting her show, Elvira’s Movie Macabre. The weekly show featured the voluptuous vixen screening B-rate movies while providing entertainment in between commercials.
Elvira has a luxurious career of fame and notoriety with a lot focusing on her looks and her trademark black gothic dress. She has been in films, TV, calendars, featured on pinball machines, and even graced comic book readers with her first appearance in 1985 with Elvira’s House of Mystery. Now the gorgeous legend has made her triumphant return to the funny books.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark #1 begins a fun journey back through the history of horror. The tale starts out with Elvira on the set of one of her campy horror flicks. She is being cornered by Dracula (we’ve all been there before!), trading smart quips back and forth between each other. Just as Dracula closes in, his teeth fall out of his mouth into the bosom of our sexy hero (once again, we’ve all been there!).
All filming comes to a screeching halt and Elvira shares with her director that she is not pleased with the script and while they reset the scene, she will be in her trailer making improvements on the trash. As she enters her trailer, she witnesses her coffin open. Inside is a glowing portal with all her belongings floating in mid-air. She is violently shoved into the coffin by an unknown person and gets warped to a villa on the shores of Lake Geneva. Inside the villa are poets Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and future writer of Frankenstein, Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley.
Elvira is stopped short of gushing over the fact she is in the presence of Mary Shelley as the trio explains that while they were telling ghost stories when their friend, Doctor Polidori, was taken by a shadowy figure. And just like that Elvira finds herself in the middle of a mystery to find the missing doctor.
I very much enjoyed Elvira, Mistress of the Dark #1. My first concern was if David Avallone could pull off the genuine feel of Elvira and I am pleased to say that he did. Avallone writes in the perfect campy tone that captures the essence of Elvira. Right from the beginning, where Dracula says he is going to eat her, only to have the Mistress of the Dark fire back with “promises, promises,” a lot of the dialogue is playful and screams of the late-night scripting from the Elvira of old.
I also found it amusing to see Elvira break the fourth wall, even asking the reader what variant cover they picked up while a confused Mary Shelley questions what Elvira is saying. Avallone does a great job creating a story mixing two horror icons and even throws a sneak peek into what the second issue has to offer.
Getting the gothic beauty to sound right is one thing — getting her to look the part is another. Dave Acosta’s artwork and Andrew Covalt’s colors do a fantastic job of bringing the Mistress of the Dark to life. Her expressions are spot on and she easily steals each panel from whatever happens to be going on at the time. The book is Elvira’s, after all!
If you are an Elvira fan, this is an easy pick up. All the cheesy goodness is intact with the oh so yummy taste of B-rated goodness. Avallone doesn’t try to change Elvira by writing a serious story. He takes the character that so many of us love and throws her into horror lore. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark #1 is a fun read and I am on board for the rest of the series.