Vampironica: New Blood #2 features the creative team of Frank Tieri and Michael Moreci on the story, Audrey Mok on art, Lee Loughridge on colors, and Jack Morelli on letters. Published by Archie Comics, we pick up on the cliffhanger of the character Kevin Keller explaining why he, too, is a vampire.
Tieri and Moreci provide readers with exposition surrounding both Kevin and Fangs, the second vampire Veronica discovered. It is delivered through organic-sounding dialogue exchanged between Veronica and Kevin. Kevin reveals Fangs used to bully him as a child. As a means of protecting himself against his torment, Kevin bite Fangs and turned him into a vampire. There is a fair deal of emotional gravity to the severity of the situation that is scripted well and delivers. As the mystery behind both these characters is resolved, the pacing of the rest of this book introduces small inklings to new mysteries. As Veronica and her friends discover new clues about her vampire heritage, we as readers feel the same “one step forward, two steps back” she experiences.
Veronica’s character struggle surrounding the confusion she feels about her family keep secrets from her is explored more in this issue. As Veronica is a teenager, Moreci and Tieri utilize the relatable ideas of being there for yourself and being there for friends to their advantage with her. Although, there are small instances where Veronica’s dialogue that feel dated. Veronica shoots a character a criticism about how “80s fashion is over. Even ironically,” that feels a little misplaced for her character. However, this does not detract from the universal theme of self-discovery that fuels Veronica’s actions in this issue.
Mok’s clean and sharp art mixed with Loughridge’s colors truly brings to life what the writers are delivering. Mok’s modernized character designs to Veronica, Archie, and Betty feel as timeless as these characters are classic. The panel backgrounds are simple to make the eye focus on the characters, aiding in this character-driven narrative. The tone and atmosphere are mostly conveyed through the cool-toned color palette that Loughridge treats the audience too. The best example is Veronica is searching through her house to discover more about her vampire family. The three predominately used colors are a muted blue (that almost looks grey), brown, and pink that sets the stage for the mysterious and unknown.
Morelli on letters makes this issue fly by. The book is very easy to follow thanks to speech bubbles being well placed against Mok’s art and Loughridge’s colors. When new characters are introduced, their word balloons are colored differently from the standard white, making it very concise. Readers will experience no confusion over which character is delivering which lines. Even when the script is heavy, the lettering does not feel excessive.
Vampironica: New Blood #2 was able to greatly improve from the first issue. Tieri and Moreci gave further backstory to new and interesting characters. Being able to empathize and understand character motives made this issue excel in places that felt weak previously. Mok, Loughridge, and Morelli work together to breathe life to this Archie book. Veronica Lodge continues to be one of my favorite leading ladies in comics at the moment due to the creative team on this book.
Vampironica: New Blood #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Vampironica: New Blood #2
Vampironica: New Blood #2 was able to greatly improve from the first issue. Tieri and Moreci gave further backstory to new and interesting characters. Being able to empathize and understand character motives made this issue excel in places that felt weak previously.