REVIEW: ‘Purgatori’ #1

(Dynamite Entertainment / Chaos!, 2014)

Writer: Aaron Gillespie
Art: Javier Garcia Miranda

Purgatori #1 is the new release spinning out from Dynamite’s best-selling Chaos! Universe, featuring the demonic Vampire goddess Purgatori as her blood soaked adventures continue in her own ongoing series. Trapped in the confines of Hell, the fearsome bitch-queen Purgatori discovers that the Devil is not one to play games. Banished to Earth by the Prince of Lies, Purgatori will need all her unholy skills and guile to outwit Lucifer, but when she learns the price of her exile, she could will rue the fateful day she dared to cross  him. This titillating brand new series will see the bat-winged, crimson skinned Vampire goddess pushed to the limit, in her most devilishly exciting and blood soaked adventure yet…

The fiery return of Purgatori in her own monthly title is here at last. Written by Aaron Gillespie and with art by Javier Garcia Miranda, this superb updated version of Purgatori’s character embodies all of the best qualities from the blood-splattered no-holds-barred style of storytelling that made Chaos! so distinct and memorable. Purgatori #1 also features stunning covers from a vast array of comic book greats including; Nei Ruffino, Joyce Chin, Kyle Strahm, José Luís, Tony Fleecs and Tim Seeley!

Purgatori #1 Hell and Back Part 1 begins in Hell, City of Dis, where Purgatori has been given over to Hel for torture in her dungeon, but Purgatori thrives on the carnal pleasure that violence brings her, and she will not be broken that easily. Lucifer however, has other plans for the Vampire goddess, and subjects her to the Cremator’s new machine, before casting Purgatori out from his nefarious realm and exiling her on Earth.

Aaron Gillespie’s love of the first Chaos! line filters through every aspect of this first issue of the new Purgatori series. With his great understanding of the Chaos! Universe and its characters,  Gillespie brings all these elements together to ensure Purgatori #1 kicks off this blood-splattered, violent, and exciting new adventure in fine style. I like the way that Purgatori taunts her captors, especially Hel, and despite her current predicament, she even goads Lucifer on his failed attempt to bed her, and upon her return to Earth her wrath is soon unleashed - with some rather surprising and unexpected side-effects from her time in Lucifer’s realm.

Following her painful journey through the Nexus, Purgatori finds herself returned to the derelict site of the Clearview Mental Institution, in St. Louis, Missouri, where she was killed be an undead juvenile delinquent. Purgatori resolves to find out what happened to him after she has returned to her Domain at the Luxor. But in her weakened state she finds herself unable to even fly, so instead of feeding on the soldiers near the ruined Mental Institution, Purgatori chooses to seek out easer prey to satisfy her thirst.

The art by Javier Garcia Miranda is excellent. Opening with big, bold pages depicting Purgatori’s confinement in Hell, the suffering she’s endured, where the dark, cavernous chambers of Lucifer’s realm are stunningly realised by Javier Garcia Miranda, and culminate with Purgatori’s banishment when she is hurled through the Nexus. Once back on Earth, a grittier color palette, with more subdued tones and textures, enhance the grim situation that awaits Purgatori on her return, before Javier Garcia Miranda orchestrates a startlingly blood-drenched conclusion to the issue. The overall page layout is concise, and really well structured throughout. In short, Purgatori #1 is a gorgeous looking book.

Whether you are a fan of the first Chaos! Line or a complete newcomer to this wild and violent universe, Purgatori #1 will quickly draw you into this world and its colourful array of characters, and you’ll soon be hooked. The bloodily violent encounter that concludes this issues comes as a real surprise, and will have big implications for Purgatori’s exile on Earth as Lucifer’s grand design for the Vampire goddess is finally revealed!

Paul Bowler is a self-Confessed Sci-Fi Geek, Doctor Who fan, and Zombie Disposal Expert. He likes movies, comic books, and all things PS3. He likes to write about his interests, would love to write a novel one day, and also enjoys chatting to the many people he has gotten to know on Twitter. When he’s not busy being an Impossible Astronaut, he likes to take a break from his adventures in time and space to enjoy some of his favourite tv shows and movies, preferably with a nice cuppa tea & a sandwich! You can follow him on Twitter @paul_bowler, or find him at his website, Sci-Fi Jubilee.

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