Red Sonja and Vampirella are two long-standing comic book mainstays that I know virtually nothing about. I know Vampirella's outfit is ridiculous and that Brigitte Nielsen played Sonja in a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thus, Prophecy: Book One, Dynamite's attempt at a crossover event book, seemed like the perfect jumping on point for a guy like me. Unfortunately, it doesn't do a heck of a lot to interest me in its characters.
The story opens in 1890 with Sherlock Holmes investigating a botched burglary turned murder at a museum, centering around an Aztec adaptation of the Mayan calendar and a mysterious stolen dagger. Cut to 632 A.D., and the nefarious Kulan Gath wielding said dagger to commit human sacrifice in order to grow his own power – a con game that Sonja has infiltrated in order to kill Gath. Seems they have a long-standing hatred. However, the blood spilled on the dagger activates its magic, transporting Gath and Sonja to "the end of time." Yes, 2012 is the end of time until 2013 happens. Thanks, Mayans!
So Sonja wakes up in the Yucatan Peninsula in the modern day, and has to stare down a black panther (likely, that will have something to do with Pantha), before a sneak attack from Vampirella – whose outfit is even more ludicrous than I thought, thanks to the 'crotch-bird.' I suppose this is camp-horror classic stuff, though, so it's shrug-worthy. The fight is short-lived, because it gets interrupted quickly by Dracula. The actual Dracula, who is sporting a Tony Stark look for some reason. Hey, modern vampires, man. They're sexy and true of blood.
Prophecy: Book One does have a couple of 'who's who' entries for its female leads, so that's helpful, but so far, there's nothing all that engaging about this Ron Marz story. It feels a bit by-the-numbers, although one supposes if you're crafting your first ever company crossover, you tend to follow the basic ground rules. The art from Walter Geovani is decent enough, although it feels a bit inconsistent – the highs are pretty high with admirable expressiveness, and the lows are still passable.
There are several more characters slated to get mixed up in this 7-issue story, so hopefully the others might bring a spark of life to the proceedings. As it stands now, however, Prophecy: Book One feels a bit limp. It's just kind of… there. Fans of these characters may differ.