Comic Book Review – Vampironica #1 (March 2018)

Writers – Meg and Greg Smallwood

Artist – Greg Smallwood

The Blossom Twins are having a party at Pembroke Estates with their classmates and everyone is having a great time until a vampire crashes the festivities. As the undead bloodsucker is about to attack Cheryl, he is stopped by Veronica Lodge. She punches the vampire in the face, knees him in the crotch, and is about to use her trusty stake to kill him until another vampire tackles them both into the pool. As the partygoers look on, the blue water turns red with blood as Veronica surfaces and drags the dead men out of the water.

Three days earlier, Veronica is at cheerleading practice, when Archie runs off the field from football practice to talk to her. Veronica asks Archiekins where is he taking her on their date later in the evening. Archie tells Veronica he already has plans with Betty, who runs and gives Archie a hug. Veronica tries to mask her disappointment by saying she already made plans with Reggie. Archie suggests they all meet together at Pop’s. Archie and Betty leave together, and Reggie tells Ronnie that his parents are out of town all week. Veronica sternly tells Reggie that if he wants to keep his date, that he will pick her up at six o’ clock sharp at Lodge Manor.

Veronica finishes getting ready and walks downstairs to wish her mom and dad a good evening before leaving. Veronica is shocked to find her mom and dad immobile in the living room. Veronica checks on her unresponsive father and it is revealed he has a vampire bite on his neck. Veronica is grabbed and choked by a male blonde-haired vampire. He pulls her close to him and bites Veronica’s neck. She grabs a pencil and stabs the man in the neck and runs away. She runs to her car, starts it, and turns on the headlights to find the vampire unfazed and standing in the driveway. She pumps the gas and hits the bloodsucker with her car. Not paying attention, Veronica hits Reggie’s car head on. Veronica is ejected from the vehicle as Reggie is saved by the driver side airbag. Veronica goes to check on Reggie, who is unconscious and bleeding. Suddenly Veronica’s eyes turn red, her teeth become fangs, and she transforms into a vampire.

Returning to normal and shocked at what just happened, Veronica runs toward the woods and accidently trips and falls down. She notices that she has a piece of glass in her arm. She removes the shard and her wound heals instantly. She wants to know what is happening to her. Reggie comes to in the car. Before Reggie can get out of the car, a voice is heard saying, “it looks like you could use a hand.” The voice belongs to an older, blonde haired man. The same man that was just terrorizing Veronica in his vampire form just a few minutes beforehand!

Archie Horror has brought us terrifying tales of demon spawn, witches, and zombies. Now vampires get the spotlight in Vampironica. Veronica Lodge doesn’t have to worry about wrinkles or gray hair anymore now that she has joined the ranks of the undead. The only problem – how will she be able to do her makeup now that she doesn’t cast a reflection in a mirror?

There are a couple callbacks to big screen vampire flicks like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fright Night in this issue. I’m hoping we see a few more horror movie homages in the next issue. I love Greg Smallwood’s art.  He does a flawless job in the panels featuring Veronica’s transformation from human to vampire. I’m looking forward to seeing other monsters Mr. Smallwood will bring to life.

Veronica will seek revenge for the death of her mother and father from the vampire that turned her into a monster. This might be the first time we see Mrs. Lodge in any Archie comic and it’s sad to see that she didn’t last very long.

Who is this blonde vampire and what is his connection to the Lodges? Does this mystery man use Mr. Lodge’s death as a means of a corporate takeover and a bid to take over Riverdale as well? Now that Riverdale is overrun by vampires, can Vampironica stop them from feasting on her friends? Will Ronnie be able to fight her bloodlust, or will she finally get to sink her teeth into Archiekins?

Next Issue – The smartest student at Riverdale High uncovers Veronica’s secret. Will he lend a helping hand or try to drive a stake through her heart?