Story: Joseph Michael Linsner
Art: Joseph Michael Linsner
What They Say:
In “The Silver Tongue & The Golden Rose,” Vampirella and Dawn – captured by the nefarious demon Masodik – must spin one beguiling tale after another in order to stay alive. Dawn blurs the lines of myth and fantasy by telling the tale of a ruined city plagued by a silver-tongued Gorgon who guards a golden rose. After their father is viciously killed by the Gorgon, two sisters set out to slay it and discover its enchanted secret.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Dawn/Vampirella miniseries got off to a decent start in the first issue as it introduced us to the situation with the demon who wants a bride and has chosen to decide between Dawn and Vampirella. Both women woke up not knowing what was what and that lead to some basic personality discoveries while the demon left it up to them to fight it out who would survive and earn the honor. While Vampirella was fine with that until she can take out said demon, not quite believing him about the Heart Bomb he claims to have, Dawn managed to shift things to who can tell the best story in order to buy time and figure things out. What this gives us is a series of alternate takes where we get to view the two characters in different forms. It’s an interesting approach and it gives it an overall story arc that also allows for some variation. But can it sustain for six issues?
This issue has a cute little bookend story of a human-form fly that’s come to check out the show, which they believe will be a battle as well, but is instead treated to a full length story for the most part outside of a little back and forth between Dawn, Vampirella and the demon seeking greater power through them. It adds a little to the situation, which is good, but still feels more like fluff. For the main story here, we get a take in a world that has fallen to war in a big way as the nuclear option was used and everything is in ruins. There’s a breed of mutants that roams part of the world and human survivors as well, which obviously don’t get involved with the mutans. Man has fallen to myth and rumor more than anything else, though it’s been just a generation or more between the events. The fall is quick and hard and the results are a pretty beaten down society that ekes out a tough existence.
The focus is on one clan ruler, Gonar of Astoria, who seeks the Golden Road that’s on the island of Manhattan which will give him power and prestige since he has to slay a powerful mutant to get it. By having it, he can broker a strong peace with the Brooklyn tribe and try to bring back a little more peace to the world, one that he grew up in that was far more advanced. Naturally, things do not go well for him and we see how his two daughters, Ann and Nancy (hello, Heart reference) seek to find out what happened to him. They also end up in competition as only one of them can take over as ruler of Astoria. While it should go to Vampirella as she’s the elder sister, Dawn is pretty conniving and sets in motion her own plan to screw over her sister and claim the seat of power. There’s some fun in watching the two of them go at it, largely following Vampirella here as she makes her way through the island and its discoveries, but it’s a tale with meager moral material with it. What it does do is what it was designed to do, to buy time with the demon that wants one of them dead so he can claim the other.
While I’m definitely a fan of both characters, and of the man behind this production, the title is one that just feels a little uncertain at this point. There have been a lot of alternate Vampirella stories in the last year or so through a number of forms and I’m not sure the audience really needed another one, which is what this series is slowly shaping up to be unless things change in the next issue or two. The tale we get here that puts the leading ladies as sisters in competition for power has its moments and I liked what I saw of the post-apocalyptic world as it had a very 80’s feeling to it. But it works in a rather simple way to tell its tale and it doesn’t really engage you in a strong way because you know it’s a time-buying story, even if a story from an alternate world that may exist in a sense. It moves well, the plotting and pacing is good and I like the design and artwork for it, though I keep wondering if it would work better in black and white…
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 19th, 2014