Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #3

Written by: David Avallone
Art by: Dave Acosta
Colors by: Andrew Covalt
Letters by: Taylor Esposito

To recap, this series of Elvira has had her traveling through time in a movie prop coffin, to all of the iconic horror writers of yore. In issue 1 she met Mary Shelley and in issue 2 she had the pleasure of meeting Edgar Allan Poe. In this issue Elvira is hurtled through time and space to meet Bram Stoker and his wife Florence.

In all cases, Elvira appears to the authors before they complete their most well known works. The implication is that Elvira inspired them all to some degree. And who wouldn’t be inspired by a busty goth who appears out of nowhere in a time-traveling coffin? Certainly Florence is less than impressed by Elvira and her quips.

Once again Elvira has to escape the bloodthirsty Vlad the Impaler. But this time both Bram and Florence Stoker are more interested in Vlad than our heroine. For obvious, and less obvious reasons. The arrival of Elvira, and her enemy Vlad, show some cracks in the Stoker marriage.

This issue of Elvira falls more within traditional comic book tropes. The basic premise here shows Elvira escaping and fighting an enemy, only to be confronted with an evil mastermind who orchestrated the whole thing. It makes for less compelling reading than the previous two issues, where the premise of Elvira on the run was a thinly veiled excuse for to hang out with horror authors.

I was disappointed that the issue with the father of vampires was spent mostly on action scenes. Here is Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration to Stoker’s Dracula, and Elvira, heavily inspired by the vampire lore started by Stoker, and Stoker barely has any dialogue with either. That felt like a missed opportunity by Avallone. When an issue relies more heavily on action scenes, the art really needs to carry the narrative.

Acosta does a great job at making Vlad menacing and Covalt does some great color work around the time machine coffin. However, if your heroine is scantily clad, there are some things to consider when she is in combat. Elvira is regularly shown running at full speed, with boobs the size of her head, no bra, and a dress which apparently is being held in place by her nipples. Yet she is swinging her arms as if none of this is a concern, instead of clutching her chest which any other woman in her situation would do. I have no problem with an implausible costume design, and Elvira’s dress is based on her real life costume which equally had this implausible cleavage. However the dress is also entirely designed for luxuriating on TV sets, not so much running and fighting. And Elvira breaks the fourth wall consistently throughout these comics, so it seemed like a missed opportunity to address this.

Besides these issues, the comic is still a fun read. Elvira is still a fun lead and the idea behind the adventure is fun and compelling. I am looking forward to #4!


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