Vampirella and Red Sonja find themselves deposited in 1920s New York. Somehow, it’s even more dangerous to be on these mean streets than it was fighting off dragons in the middle ages.
The villains of the story read like stock gangster movie cliches, which honestly works in the story’s favor. Much of the humor in this issue comes from just how little patience Sonja and Ella have for the villains after a certain point. They barely know what’s going on any more than the reader does, so it’s fun to see them trying to puzzle it out and getting annoyed with all of the wannabe “toughs” they’re up against.
There is a confusing bit of business in the alleyway around the midpoint of the story. When the rat first starts speaking, it’s not entirely clear what’s going on, particularly since Sonja freezes with her mouth open for a few panels. This partially works, because Vampirella is also meant to be confused when she thinks Sonja is responding to the police officers interrogating them.
Unfortunately, the placement of the word balloon in this panel is a bit vague, leaving it unclear at first glance which of the characters is meant to be speaking. It ends up looking like Vampirella is arguing with herself for a moment.
It’s also not entirely clear why our heroes go along with the shenanigans they find themselves wrapped up in here, other than the fact that they find a note in one of their pockets. Otherwise, it just seems like they’re biding their time until they can time jump again. That’s a decent enough reason, but it’s not communicated very well that this is the case. Again, much of the humor in this issue comes from our heroes’ general confusion, but it does end up making you wonder why a good chunk of the story is occurring or what stakes (no pun intended) Vampirella and Sonja have in it.
The final third of the issue features some spectacularly moody artwork and sets in motion an interesting new set of enemies for Vampirella and Sonja to face. It’s just that the majority of the issue feels like it’s spinning its wheels with stock characters delivering tons of exposition.
Still, for the new wrinkles the issue adds to the mythology of this series, it’s a must-read for folks who have been enjoying this series so far.
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