ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Vampironica: New Blood,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Vampironica: New Blood #1 from Archie Comics is another title being released from their popular Archie Horror imprint. The creative team of writers Frank Teri and Michael Moreci, artist Audrey Mok, colorist Matt Hermes, and letterer Jack Morelli, team up for this book. Vampironica: New Blood #1 continues Veronica Lodge’s story after the events of Jughead the Hunger Vs. Vampironica. Not only is this new content for old fans, but also, it marks a great spot for new readers to try out this title.

Within the first three panels of the book, Veronica’s love interest, the werewolf version of Jughead, is shown. We discover that she has left the realm that she was in to return to her home town of Riverdale. Teri and Moreci seek to ground Veronica’s troubles in a very refreshing way. Her return is not smooth, and she has to deal with the innate shock and trauma of being a different person than she was. I quite liked how they characterized her issues without having her feel like a whiny or needy protagonist.

Her characterization particularly stands out when she returns to her parents and demands to know the information and their supernatural ancestors and past. While our protagonist is unique and well written, the antagonist falls into the standard enemy troupe. The enemy reminds me too much of James from the first Twilight novel. It is not executed or written poorly, however, with Vampironica: New Blood #1 feeling so refreshing, it’s a bit disappointing.

Teri and Moreci do a fantastic job of introducing all the necessary information readers need to know. I have not read Jughead the Hunger Vs. Vampironica, myself, and I worried that I wouldn’t understand it. While it is easy to follow plot-wise, some character interactions feel muddy. As Veronica speaks to Archie, Jughead, and Kevin, there isn’t enough context to make new readers fully understand their relationship dynamics. Seeing as this is the first issue, there is room to elaborate and further these relationships.

While Veronica is dealing with her woes, there is a subplot occurring about the mysteries of her hometown, Riverdale. Here Mok, Hermes, and Morelli display their creative synergy. Mok’s art is clean, simple, and modern. Mok’s character designs for these teen characters were refreshing to see. None of them were overly muscular, hyper-realistic, or suggestive. While it could have been easy to depict Veronica as an object of desire, the choice to make her a regular teen is a breath of fresh air.

Hermes’ colors are the key to the atmosphere of this Archie Horror book. Panel backgrounds are frequently rustic red to signify the looming mystery and dangers characters are facing. The scene introducing the antagonist stands out from the rest of the book. Blacks and blues are the shades used for these panels. However, Hermes excelled at creating a compelling and spooky atmosphere with just the two colors, making it a stand out. It’s easy to breeze through this book since Morelli’s lettering is fun, chic, and pulpish.

Vampironica: New Blood #1 is a fun introduction for those who have not read anything from her character before. It is a solid debut that offers a unique take on vampire and werewolf horror. Many threads signify that this could be a stellar five-issue mini-series.

Vampironica: New Blood #1 will be available where comics are sold.

Vampironica: New Blood #1
4

TL;DR

Vampironica: New Blood #1 is a fun introduction for those who have not read anything from her character before. It is a solid debut that offers a unique take on vampire and werewolf horror. Many threads signify that this could be a stellar five-issue mini-series.