Prophecy: Book Two – Dracula & His Mostly Naked Friends

Red Sonja, Pantha, Dracula, his daughter Eva and Vampirella team up with a bookish nerd in short-pants.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Prophecy: Book Two

I like the idea of Dynamite's big crossover event, but it's now two issues in, and there still isn't a character in this significant team-up that seems particularly compelling. Prophecy: Book One was just kind of there, and now Prophecy: Book Two feels even more by-the-numbers than the last one did.

Red Sonja has chased her sorcerer enemy Kulan Gath through time and space, and has landed in the Yucatan, where she meets Vampirella, Dracula, Pantha and then Eva, who claims to be Dracula's daughter – something Drac doesn't seem to believe – and eventually a geek named Herbert West, aka "The Re-animator." We've given a lot of crap to big event books like Avengers vs. X-Men for making characters behave illogically when they could just talk things out and avoid a lot of silly fights, but here, the characters exchange information and introductions in a sequence so rote and lifeless that you almost want them to be dumb and abrasive just to spark something of interest. Then Herbert reveals that he's got the Necronomicon, which pretty much cements that this whole series is going to be very basic and straightforward. These mostly-naked women will team up to fight evil gods while Tony Starkula and West provide exposition. Luckily, they have a god on their side as well – Athena, goddess of wisdom, shows up at the end to get in on the mostly-naked action.

Weirdly, writer Ron Marz has Sonja make a mild wisecrack about the similarity of Vampirella and Pantha's "costumes," as if she wasn't just as mostly-naked. Artist Walter Geovani is again inconsistent, giving us some character renderings that look pretty cool, with little details like Vampirella's reflection in Sonja's shoulderpad, and others that look dopey – particularly with Starkula's snivel-face and Gath's O-face.

Marz seems to be taking a decidedly old-school approach to this big crossover, with a lot of expository monologues, and that's okay. It might work for you if you're into that. In my case, however, Prophecy just seems to kind of expect its star power to hold our interest without taking the time to make those stars luminous.