Writers: Greg Smallwood & Meg Smallwood
Artist: Greg Scott & Matt Herms
Riverdale is under siege by a coven of vampires, and only Veronica can save her friends. While the mini-series has had some ups and downs, Vampironica #5 manages to send Veronica and the gang off on a somewhat satisfying conclusion.
With Dilton and the gang trapped in a pool of holy water, Vampironica needs to find the master that turned everyone into terrifying vampires. Back in the Lodge mansion, Veronica finds herself facing a series of trials. I don’t want to get into the details, because these trials are easily the highlight of the issue, but they do a solid job at throwing both Veronica and the reader off of their game.
Greg and Meg Smallwood continue to capture the essence of campy horror. The script is cheesy but doesn’t come off as forced. Fans of old horror movies an pulpy books will find plenty to love about Vampironica. The build-up to the finale succeeds in building both tension and suspense. If I had one complaint about the script, is that it comes off as a bit anticlimactic. The trials themselves are exciting, and the gang’s harrowing situation is as hectic as it needs to be, but then everything just ends quickly. The story would have benefitted from having just one more issue to ensure that the pacing stays together.
The Smallwood’s have done a wonderful job at keeping everyone in character throughout the series. Some readers will find themselves turned off by the often silly character moments throughout the series and this issue, but Archie fans will love the funny character quirks. These moments are what makes the Archie Horror line work. The juxtaposition of horror and comedy works in a way that only Archie can do.
Greg Scott’s style continues to suit the tone of the book, adding more horror tones to the second half of the series. Matt Herms’ colors aren’t as bright as the previous issues, but the darker tone allows for some much-needed suspense for the conclusion.
Overall, Vampironica is a satisfying ending to the arc, but it doesn’t feel like it should end here. Hopefully, she gets another series, because it feels like the characters are just finding their place in the Archie horror line.
Overall, Vampironica is a satisfying ending to the arc, but it doesn't feel like it should end here. Hopefully, she gets another series, because it feels like the characters are just finding their place in the Archie horror line.