Thomas E. Sniegoski's has a Writer's Commentary on Vengeance On Vampirella #4, on sale now from Dynamite. He writes,
Vampirella has returned to life, and she's not at all happy with what's happened to the world in her absence. Her thoughts scrambled by Pendragon's resurrection spell, Vampirella wanders the bleak landscape of New Salem seeing first-hand what the rule of Mistress Nyx has done to humanity. Reuniting with her friend Pendragon, Vampirella at last remembers who and what she is—and the plans for defeating Nyx and her Chaos legions, and returning the world to some semblance of order, begin.
In the first scene, I wanted to give a little bit more background on Passion, and how powerful she has become. We learn that she's a creature of pure emotion, given power and form by the misery of the countless people who were slain when Nyx took control. "The rage, fear and sadness of the world has given me shape and purpose." I really like this character, and the many functions she serves in story.
I also like here that Vampirella is all business. She doesn't have time for rest. She's got to figure out how to destroy Nyx "There will be time for rest when Nyx is dead, or I am once more." That's my girl.
This scene was a blast to write. The Chaos Lords are getting a little bit antsy with their daughter. They've been hearing through the grapevine that Vampirella has returned, or at least a belief in her has been rekindled. They want to make absolute sure that their daughter—Nyx—is on this, and isn't going to allow it get any worse.
Hemorrhage is getting impatient. He's got a mad crush for Vampirella, and wants to see his resurrected love big time.
Michael's art here absolutely rocks. I love how he's depicted the Chaos gateway here. Super creepy. And Omi's colors just give it that extra bit of life. Beautiful stuff.
Pendragon and Vampirella put their heads together to try and come up with a way to strike back at Nyx and inspire humanity at the same time. In my first Vengeance of Vampirella run in the 90's I used to refer to Vampirella as the Light in the Darkness. Pendragon mentions this and it inspires him in coming up with a mission that, if successful, could inspire humanity and really piss off Nyx.
The Earth is enshrouded in thick ashen cover—the remains of countless dead thrown up into the atmosphere to block the rays of the sun so that the monstrous could prosper.
Pen and Vampi decide that they're going to destroy the Necromages who are responsible for maintaining the ash that encircles the world, and thusly bring back the sun.
Sounds like a plan! What could go wrong? HA!
Hemorrhage is starting to get impatient. He wants Vampirella now! Nyx tells him that he's going to need to be patient; that she's working on a plan to draw Vampirella out into the open—and it involves the Sirens from the Sea.
Another nicely drawn page. Omi's coloring on panel 4 as the Sirens are emerging really pops. Love it.
Pendragon, Passion and Vampirella planning their mission. Pendragon has scavenged all sorts of maps and records and stuff about the former coal burning electrical plant. Vampirella has some of her own info about the location, and how she's going to gain access.
In this scene we also get to see that Passion has the ability to create multiple versions of her warrior self (simulacrum) that she can control. See why I like this character? She's awesome.
Here is where I reveal what Nyx is up to in regard to the Sea Sirens. She's making the Sirens use their mesmerizing song to call the human survivors out from hiding so that they can be used as bait to lure Vampirella into the open.
Pendragon saying goodbye to Vampirella and Passion as they prepare to leave on their mission. We see here that Pendragon has given her some magical weaponry to take with her.
At the top of Page 9, we have Passion doing that thing where she engulfs Vampirella in her mass, and then shape changes into this really cool, bird craft to get them down to Earth.
We see Pendragon setting himself up as a kind of mission control.
Pages 10 -11:
Hemorrhage and Nyx still waiting for Vampirella. Nyx decides that she's going to need to hurt a few of the human captives to get Vampirella's attention. Again, using the Sirens, Nyx has the mind-controlling creatures command fifty of the humans positioned on building ledges around the city to jump to their deaths. Incredibly gruesome, and quite pleasing to Nyx and Hemorrhage. They believe that this will bring her to them for sure.
I used this scene to play up the absolute cruelty of Nyx.
Vampirella and Passion reach the entrance to the tunnel passage into the former coal burning electrical plant. Passion is very curious how Vampirella knew about this specific, backdoor entrance. Vampirella explains a case from before her death involving pregnant Lamia nesting in the tunnel. A little tip of the hat to an untold Vampirella adventure. Maybe we'll see the Lamia show up in another story sometime? Could happen!
Back onboard the Passion craft, Pendragon/Passion are picking up the psychic screams of multiple people dying. He informs Vampirella of this, but she knows that she can't be distracted—she has a mission to finish first.
The tunnel into the electrical plant is working out quite nicely—till it isn't. It has now become the nesting place of some pretty nasty rat demon things. Michael did a great job of designing these creepy things that come swarming down the length of tunnel at our heroes.
I love the humorous back and forth with Vampirella and Pen about things always trying to kill her, and that she should have a complex. Now that Vampirella is more herself, we're really seeing the love the two characters have for one another. I really enjoy writing their banter.
So the rat things are swarming, and Vampirella and the Passions are doing the best to fight back. Vampirella finally decides to reach into her bag of tricks to find one of the weapons Pendragon gave to her. Removing the glass orb, she smashes it into the ground causing a tremendous explosion that fills the tunnel.
Page 15 is one of my favorites. The explosion in the tunnel was pretty ferocious and we don't quite know how Vampirella and Passion survived. We then see a series of smaller panels showing a metal door being ripped from the doorway and tossed. The page ends showing us that the Passions accompanying Vampirella have formed armor on her body to protect her. Vampirella looks totally badass striding from the smoke, out into the tunnel. Michael hits another home run, and Omi's colors just make it pop all the more. Good stuff.
Vampirella and Passion continue with their mission to confront and destroy the Necromages.
Panel 5 of Page 16 is just awesome. It shows six cadaverous death mages hovering in the air around a supernatural facsimile of the Earth. It is their power that keeps the world enshrouded in darkness.
On Page 17, Vampirella and the Passions get down to business, having to fight a legion of undead that guard the Necromages.
In the last three panels of Page 17, we find that Nyx and Hemorrhage have continued to try and attract Vampirella to them, having the Sirens incite more human captives to leap to their deaths
Vampirella and the Passions fight their way through the dead to get to the Necromages. Vampirealla leaps up, dragging one of the mages down from the air, and killing him savagely. The Passions take care of those remaining.
With the death of the Necromages, their hold over the ashen shroud covering the Earth is broken, causing it to dissipate and the sun is allowed to at last shine through.
Back with Nyx and Hemorrhage: the two have no idea what the hell is going on as the sun shines down on the city, but they finally put two and two together that Vampirella is responsible.
Michael did some awesome panels of the sun's rays doing a job on the various supernatural creatures (including the Sirens) that have been allowed to walk freely since the shroud was put in place.
Nyx is furious that Vampirella has obviously killed her Necromages, but Hemorrhage is absolutely tickled. Using the blood of all those that the Sirens urged to their deaths, Hemorrhage begins to create something to enable him to reunite with Vampirella in classic Hemorrhage style.
The last two panels of Page 21 have Vampirella and the Passions planning on heading to the city, to check out those psychic screams Pendragon/Passion were picking up earlier, when they hear the sound of something approaching . . . something huge.
Michael's splash page rocks!
We see that Hemorrhage has made an entire giant body out of blood and he's torn the roof off the electrical plant in order to reunite with his love!
We can see Hemorrhage floating in the center of this enormous body—the heart of it, making the blood body tick. It's a really awesome piece of art, and Omi once again brings it to life with his colors.
This was a really great issue.
Just wait until you guys see Issue #5.