Vampironica

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Written by Greg and Meg Smallwood
Art by Greg Smallwood and Jack Morelli
Edited by Alex Segura, Jamie L. Rotante

Archie Horror have been knocking their line of comics out of the park ever since Afterlife with Archie. Jughead got his treatment as a werewolf and now Veronica Lodge … well, she’s looking mighty fine as a vampiress. She did not want this condition. She was smitten, correction: bitten by a mysterious older gentleman who is not Archie, and his only revelation with the first issue is that her parents know him. According to tradition: a vampire can not enter a home unless they were invited in.

This individual may have been around since the 19th century. The Riverdale Gazette (the afterwards) offer a case of whether the vampire is mythic or real.

The action jumps right in Buffy the Vampire Slayer style. Veronica, however, is like Blade from Marvel Comics. Three days ago is nothing in this undead creature’s lifespan. However, to accept who they are and what they are; the break down needs to be told in later issues. Jughead the Hunger is ongoing, and I’m anxiously for when the big crossover — the meeting of all the Monsters of Riverdale — is going to happen. Archie Comics are doing a better job than Universal Pictures at creating a new shared universe.

The artwork by Greg Smallwood is moody. The hint of Warhol and the pop art style in the colour pallette and design makes reading this work a pleasure.

Vampironica is going to struggle with her new identity. She has no guide (yet), but if she’s to become a saviour for Riverdale, the story to come will be very thrilling. This first work has me pondering if her story may parallel that of Nick Knight’s (from the 90’s vampire-cop series Forever Knight) such that Veronica’s indoctrination did not come easy.

I’m definitely hooked and am willing to put my stake (ahem) in just to see what’s to come for this alternative take on one of America’s beloved properties. Sorry, CW, but your take just did not cut it and the Smallwoods have nailed the re-imagining just right.

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