Thomas E. Sniegoski has a Writer's Commentary on Vengeance Of Vampirella #8 on sale now from Dynamite Entertainment. He writes;
I wanted to open this issue with a scene showing how Nyx plans on dealing with the fact that her parents (the Chaos Lords) were REALLY gonna be pissed off at her now for having their representatives torn to pieces at Nyx's little monster rally the last issue.
Like a petulant child, Nyx is lashing out at her fathers, cutting off their means of communication with her.
On Page 1, we have Nyx and the powerful witches, led by the powerful Harmony Discord, striding into the hotel ballroom, which houses the dimensional portal used by the Chaos Lords to communicate with their daughter.
Nyx is giving the order to destroy it.
Page 2, Harmony and her witch sisters unleash powerful magics to utterly destroy the passage, just as the Chaos Lords were attempting to communicate with their daughter (obviously, not at all happy with what Nyx has done).
Michael does an awesome job of showing the power the witches unleash, and the devastating effect it has upon the gateway—obliterating it. Omi's colors are pretty damn amazing here as well.
On Page 3, we get to hear Nyx's reasoning for cutting off her fathers—she doesn't like to be told what to do! Typical child! HA! We see the after-effects of the witches' powers, pieces of corpses that comprised the gateway, strewn about. Nyx is quite pleased with herself, and now she feels like she can put her plans in motion without her fathers to bother her.
Do you really think her fathers are gonna stand for this? Hmmmmm.
When last we saw our heroes, Pendragon/Passion and Vampirella had traveled to what they believed to be a secret Danse Macabre safe house. Vampirella was hoping that maybe the sorcerer leader of the Danse, Mr. Sabastain, had hidden some sort of plan or secret weapon for dealing with the threat of Nyx.
Dealing with a monstrous security system, Pendragon unleashed a powerful blast of magical energy that tore open the floor, and Vampirella ended up tumbling down into the darkness.
A worried Pendragon/Passion peers down into the darkness—as the still active security monsters stealthily move closer.
I wanted to give an opportunity to show the extent of Pendragon/Passion's new-found shape-shifting magical might. And I think Michael and Omi did an amazing job illustrating this. Pendragon/Passion ain't anybody to mess with!
The big surprise in this particular scene is that the mysterious Mr. Sabastain . . . is still around . . . a ghost, but still around being creepy as hell. I LOVE how Michael captured the character's look perfectly . . . I wanted an early, 1970's Peter Cushing, and that's what I got.
So, Vampirella fell down into the hole, and into a vast underground chamber where something is living . . . something that is guarding—protecting something.
Pages 7-8, I introduce readers to a new character, and one of my favorites, Balthazar, the Hellhound of Pandemonium. He's this wild, crazy combination of dog, demon, and lion. Michael's rendition is pretty damn cool. I loved writing the interactions between the demon hound and Vampirella. Basically they're busting on each other.
We see that Balthazar has the ability to travel through shadow, jumping out to attack Vampirella, where she least expects it. Michael's battle scenes kick all sorts of ass.
Vampirella gets tired of being attacked, figuring out what the demon hound is up to, and anticipating his next attack.
Page 9. An AMAZING splash page by Michael and Omi, showing a savage Vampirella that has had enough of this Hellhound's antics. She is savagely lashing out at the beast, doing some damage of her own.
All the while, the two continue with the really fun-to-write back-and-forth.
Page 10, the conflict, and snappy dialogue are really heating up. Somebody is likely going to die shortly until . . .
Enter Pendragon/Passion and the now ghostly Mr. Sabastain. Sabastain puts an end to Balthazar and Vampirella's conflict, and we learn that Balthazar is down in the underground chambers protecting (guarding) something . . . something called Abaddon, which Sabastain refers to as the "solution to all their woes."
We return to Nyx to see her addressing her generals. We saw these guys last issue, at the rally, in their special box seats. We have Thurg, a massive, horned demon . . . Verlack, which is a vampire leader . . .Marrowlick, leader of trolls, Harmony Discord, who we saw earlier blasting the Chaos Lords' dimensional portal . . . and Rilvakath, an insect demon of some kind. All badasses . . . all expertly designed by Michael and colored by Omi.
Basically, Nyx is telling them to get out there and kick some human ass, make them rue the day they could think that they might take back their world. The monsters are all a little concerned about Vampirella being back.
After dismissing her monstrous generals, Nyx turns her attention to Desmond, her goblin servant, who is cleaning up the result of the witches blasting the Chaos Lords' portal. Michael and Omi again show how good they are. This looks absolutely disgusting! HA!
Nyx knows Desmond is quite upset with his Mistress over her defying her Fathers. She tries to reassure him that she knows exactly what she is doing . . . that she has a plan.
These pages jump between Nyx taking Desmond to see something special connected to her master plan, and the Vampire—Verlack—leaving the other monster generals and going off on his own.
Page 13, We see Nyx and Desmond descending a winding staircase within the skyscraper to a guarded parking garage.
Verlack is making his way somewhere, traversing the wasteland that the city has become.
Page 14, we see that Verlack is heading towards the remains of a church.
Nyx and Desmond have entered the parking garage, and we see that it's been turned into a kind of laboratory. What the hell are they doing in there? (That's what I want the readers to be thinking!)
Verlack has gone inside the church; it is filled with vampires—different than his species of vampire—they are not at all happy to see him.
Back with Nyx in the lab, she is explaining to Desmond how she took something very special from Vampirella 25 years ago, and this—Nyx—believes is how she was able to defeat her now.
Page 15. Nyx is standing in front of a vast array of machines. The focal point of the machines is a glass tank, something floating within. This is Nyx's secret weapon . . . the way she will destroy Vampirella's soul, once and for all. Inside the glass tube, we see the naked body of Vampirella's murdered lover, Adam Van Helsing. He has been cloned! Oh, man, is that Nyx a bitch!
Page 16, Verlack tells the vampires that he's here to see someone called Mazarin. The vampires begrudgingly allow the vampire to descend some steps, into a lower level, they tell him that he is expected.
Now, I'm not sure how many readers of my original Vengeance of Vampirella are out there . . . but if there are, they should be familiar with the name Mazarin.
Page 17. We introduce another group of characters to our cast . . . these from the original Vengeance run. Mazarin and his Undead. Mazarin is a powerful vampire warrior lord whose genetics were used to experiment on teenage runaways, creating the Undead. Shifty. Misty. Mez. Each of the teens (now teens forever) manifested one of the vampire lord's supernatural powers through gene splicing. Shifty turns into an enormous werewolf. Misty has the ability to turn to mist. And Mez had the mesmerizing/mind control powers of vampires.
I always wanted to do more with these characters (I even believe there's an unpublished mini-series that I wrote for Harris Comics floating around out there.) And now I can!
Mazarin wants to see Nyx destroyed so that he can begin his own reign over the world! Ah yes, Mistress Nyx now had competition, and she doesn't even know it!
By the way, Michael's take on Mazarin and his Undead is fantastic! I love it, and Omi's colors just make it pop all the more! Fantastic stuff!
Page 18-20, Mr. Sabastain shows Pendragon/Passion, Vampirella, and Balthazar, the secret control center of the Danse. This was to be the place where their final stand against ultimate evil (Mistress Nyx) would happen. Sabastain calls it The Cauldron.
But the base was never used, for most of the Danse were killed or scattered around the earth. Sabastain was struck down by Nyx and chose to haunt the location.
Sabastain talks of special contingencies that were to be put in place if something like Nyx was ever to occur and Vampirella wants to know if Abaddon was part of these contingencies.
Page 21, Mr. Sabastain explains that Abaddon is indeed part of this contingency. So potentially powerful that it needed a Hound of Pandemonium to guard it.
The ghostly Danse leader takes them to this strange, square containment pod. Because Vampirella was a high ranking member of the Danse, her touch has the ability to open the pod and reveal the ultimate weapon.
Page 22. Michael and Omi nailed this one big time. The splash page is a brilliant shot of Abaddon, the Angel of the Apocalypse. The angel that was created to end the world when necessary.
What a way to end an issue!