Thomas E. Sniegoski has a Writers Commentary on Vengeance Of Vampirella #7, back in circulation after a bit of a shutdown. He writes,
Hey, there! Welcome back. It's been awhile with this whole nationwide pandemic thing. It's almost like something Mistress Nyx would come up with . . . Hmmmmmmm.
As this issue opens, we have Vampirella recovering after a nasty battle with her arch enemy, Hemorrhage. The war between Vampirella, and Mistress Nyx is heating up, and both sides are coming up with ways to guarantee their victory.
On Page 1, I wanted to establish a little bit of quiet, before the next storm. In Panel One we see the Passion craft in orbit around the Earth—which is no longer covered by a shroud of ash because of Vampirella's actions.
In Panel Two, we see Pendragon observing the world since Vampirella (and Passion) did their thing, and destroyed the necromancers responsible for keeping the world enshrouded in darkness.
Panel Three, we see Vampirella sleeping, healing from her battle with Hemorrhage. This is a lovely shot by Michael, still knocking it out of the park. And Omi's colors are superb as usual. Here was where I wanted to start to emphasize a specific aspect of her resurrection. That since she has been reborn, there is something not quite right . . . that there might be a piece of her humanity missing.
Page 2, we enter Vampirella's dream and see that she is talking with someone—something. This is the monstrous side of her nature, the side that she tries to keep locked down and allowed to be free only when absolutely necessary. But we get a sense here that this side of her nature—the monster side – is growing stronger and that she might not be able to control it as she once did.
To show that this more violent and monstrous nature might be getting a little bit more control, in Panel One, Page 3, we have Vampirella coming awake from her nightmare, and lashing out at Pendragon, tearing out his throat. Another awesome panel by Michael, and Omi. It really shows the savagery of Vampirella.
Of course Vampirella is horrified by her actions, but this just shows that this whole losing control of her monstrous nature thing might be a problem for her in the future. And it terrifies her.
Vampirella believes that she has seriously wounded Pendragon, but this isn't the same old Pendragon that we once knew. This is a Pendragon bonded with Passion, so the injury—though dire—is easily healed over by Passion's ectoplasmic form.
Page 4 Pendragon assures his friend that he is fine, as his neck is healed over by Passion. Here, Vampirella voices her concerns that she might not have come back from the dead quite right. Pendragon, of course, assures her that she's fine, and that she just needs some time to adjust to being back.
On Page 5, Pendragon attempts to distract Vampirella by showing her how the world is changing since the knowledge of her return is out there. It is inspiring humanity to fight back against the monstrous creatures that have overrun the world. There are some great shots by Michael and Omi showing humanity fighting back and really doing some damage kicking monster ass.
Page 6, Vampirella isn't sure that humanity can stand against Nyx. And this is where an idea begins to form. She informs Pendragon and Passion that she wants to resurrect the Danse Macabre.
NOTE: I LOVE the idea of the Danse, and have wanted to bring them back since I first found out that I'd be writing Vengeance again. I think they could be a really cool addition to our cast of characters, and enable me (us) to do some cool and exciting things.
Here is where we see how our lovely daughter of Chaos is doing.
When we first see Nyx on Page Seven, she is pretty much attempting to avoid speaking with her fathers, the Chaos Lords. Desmond, ever the faithful servant, is attempting to convince her to go talk with her fathers and explain to them why the sun is shining down upon the world again.
Ever so cocky, she goes to see them, to explain herself.
It does not go well.
While explaining what is happening, and how she has everything under control, the Chaos Lords show their displeasure, reaching out from the beyond with writhing tentacles to punish their daughter, slamming her repeatedly against the stone pillars in the room.
This is where the Chaos Lords reveal that they've sent four representatives to keep an eye on Nyx to make sure that she doesn't screw up again.
Yeah, Nyx is REAL happy about that.
I wanted to use these section to show that things aren't too peachy between Nyx and her dads. This will play a large part of the story from this point forward.
Pendragon reminisces about the Danse Macabre and how they were the first line of defense against threats of the supernatural, and how they were led by the sorcerer, Mr. Sabastain.
Vampirella is convinced that Mr. Sabastain must have left some sort of a battle plan to deal with threats of Nyx's magnitude, and she's desperate to find it. She and Pendragon go through all sorts of hard copy documents, and stumble across the deed of an old property that may have been used as a secret safe house by the Danse and Mr. Sabastain. They decide that it wouldn't hurt to check it out.
In these pages, we return to Nyx who is putting her plans in motion (now under the watchful eyes of her father's Chaos Agents). Nyx has put a call out to all the monsters in the area, as well as the leaders of the various monster tribes, to gather at one of the city's largest sports stadiums to hear her speak. Michael did a nice job here, showing the all the various creatures that roam the world, as well as the stadium, which has since been altered by the world's new dominant population. He also did an awesome job of designing the four monster leaders who will play a bigger part in the issues that follow.
We have Nyx, the Chaos Agents looming behind her, giving a heartfelt speech about how Vampirella has somehow returned (as if she doesn't know!) and how she is planning on taking everything that they have away. She then asks the gathered crowd, "Are you going to let her do this?" Nyx is doing a wonderful job of rousing the crowd.
We return to Vampirella, and Pendragon/Passion checking out the mysterious farmhouse perhaps owned by Mr. Sabastain and the Danse Macabre.
Things appear perfectly normal . . . TOO normal, as Passion comments.
As Pendragon is stepping foot onto a step leading up to the farmhouse, we realize that things are not as they appear.
Page 14, Panel Five, Michael and Omi do an amazing job of showing Pendragon being assailed by magical defenses connected to the farmhouse. The magical attack practically melts Passion from Pendragon's body, incapacitating both of them. It's up to Vampirella to try and save their lives.
Vampirella picks up Pendragon/Passion and manages to get them all inside unscathed. They believe that they are safe . . . NOT QUITE!
The sheet covered furniture inside are actually monstrous supernatural beings that will engulf and suffocate you with their bodies. I thought that this was a pretty cool idea. NOTE: Since I was a kid, I always looked at furniture covered with sheets as some sort of ghostly creatures. Here I got to make that a reality! It's fun when that happens.
Page 17, Panel Four, Vampirella releases her monstrous side here, shredding the sheet-like bodies of the wraith creatures. The still-incapacitated Pendragon/Passion aren't doing too well, seeing as they'd been placed in one of those sheet-covered chairs.
Page 18, Pendragon unleashes a mystical blast that temporarily decimates the wraiths, but also blows apart the floor in the room, causing Vampirella to tumble down, down, down into the darkness.
I wonder what awaits her down there? Hmmmmm.
Back with Nyx at the stadium. She has riled up the monstrous crowds pretty good, talking about Vampirella taking things away from them . . . but she also talks about the Lords of Chaos taking things away from her—their Mistress. She makes it a point to direct her anger at the Chaos Agents summoned by her fathers.
The monsters that have gathered don't at all care for people doubting their Mistress. The monsters of the stadium rush the stage, getting their hands on the Chaos Agents and proceeding to tear them limb from limb . . . all for the glory of their Mistress.
Looks like Nyx is acting out against her parents! This furthers elements introduced earlier in regard to Nyx and the Chaos Lords.
Back with Vampirella and where she ended up after falling through the farmhouse floor!
These are some of my favorite pages in this issue. Michael once again shows why he's a star in the making, and Omi's coloring just makes it pop all the more. Great stuff.
Vampirella finds herself in a dark subterranean cavern . . . but she isn't alone. Something is talking with her from the darkness.
Michael and Omi really came through on this last page of the issue. I was interested in creating a new character for the growing cast, and Michael nailed it. I don't think I want to mention the cast member's name yet, seeing as we don't know it by the end of the issue, we just see him. He's this enormous, demonic beast—a Hound of Pandemonium (I'll give you that much!). And he'll be hanging around the Vengeance world for awhile.
I'll talk more about him next commentary.