Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1 Review

Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: Alessandro Ranaldi and Ellie Wright
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 2nd, 2022

In Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1, there’s a multiversal crisis in the Dynamite Universe, as squadrons of demons move from Earth to Earth, using dark sorcery to decimate each world.  And Vampirella may have started it!  A group of heroes from multiple worlds come together to strategize how to save the multiverse, including Red Sonja, who wants answers from Vampirella, and she’s going to get them no matter what!

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The Story

Over the last few years, Dynamite has built up a multiverse (similar to DC and Marvel’s multiverses) with multiple universes containing an infinity of different Earths.  In the Dynamite universe, these different Earths are called “Projections”, so Earth-3810 is called Projection 3810. In Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1, there’s a “Crisis On Infinite Earths” style event happening, and similar to that DC event, heroes across the Dynamite multiverse come together at a “hyperspatial still point” to analyze what’s going on and try to form a plan to stop it.

Pretty heavy stuff for a Vampirella/Red Sonja book.   I expected this mini-series to simply drop Vampirella and Red Sonja into some random place and have them battle, but what we get here is much deeper than that. So many Dynamite heroes pop up here, you probably won’t remember half of them after you’ve read the issue, but some of them are interesting variations of DC or Marvel heroes.

My favorite among the heroes appearing here were the Dynamite Family, a trio of heroes similar to the Shazam Family, with Mister Dynamite, Kid Dynamite and Dyna Might.  Kid Dynamite is even drawn to look like Captain Marvel Jr./Elvis Presley.  They dominate the first few pages of the issue, but other heroes like Green Lama, Captain Courageous, Black Venus, etc. appear as well.  They’re an interesting bunch and I’d love to see new mini-series exploring each of these heroes at some point in the future.

Red Sonja speaks differently here, due to a translator she’s using to communicate with everyone else.  Through most of the issue, she sounds like The Hulk, talking in abbreviated sentences and single syllable words like “You are Daemon”.  It was a bit silly really, especially since Sonja speaks in third-person (“Sonja don’t like this.”). Why would Sonja suddenly speak in third-person?  That has nothing to do with a language barrier, she’d still refer to herself as “I” or “me”.

Vampirella comes off much better, slinking around arrogantly as she tries to reason with Red Sonja and convince her she’s not the multiversal threat everyone thinks she is.  She’s logical and very chill compared to Red Sonja, who seems about to go into a full-blown rage at any moment. Despite Red Sonja’s ridiculous speech pattern, she and Vampirella play off each other well.  They’re in this issue surprisingly little, so next issue I hope we get to see more of them together, either working in tandem or fighting each other.

The Art

I wasn’t a fan of Allesandro Ranaldi’s art on Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1.
It served the purpose and moved the story along, but the characters were drawn in a sketchy manner.  Their faces were drawn fairly detailed, but the rest of them seemed to be drawn half-formed, as if he stopped drawing at the neck and just scribbled the rest of the way.  I liked how he drew Vampirella’s face though, with her big Manga-style eyes and sweeping long lashes.

Final Thoughts

Vampirella Versus Red Sonja #1 avoids being a standard battle between two major Dynamite characters as it introduces a “Crisis on Infinite Earths” style story with tons of heroes, Earths being destroyed by demon armies and Vampirella being blamed for the disaster.  She and Red Sonja, at least in this first issue, become minor supporting characters in their own book.


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