Review: Planet of Vampires #3 

Planet of Vampires #3 cover
Cover by Russ Heath

Planet of Vampires #3 
Published and © by Atlas (Seaboard), July 1975

Title: “The Blood Plague!”
Synopsis: The astronauts attack the vampires’ dome in a last-ditch effort to save their wives – but are they already too late?

Writer: John Albano
Artist: Russ Heath

Review: Story wise, this is the best of the three issues of Planet of Vampires. The concept of a rich overclass reverting to savages when deprived of the blood of the underclass is an unsubtle metaphor at best, but at least writer John Albano is trying for something. His dialogue can be awful, though, especially when awkwardly recapping the previous two issues. Russ Heath replaces Pat Broderick on art this time out; his work is certainly more polished, but lacks the youthful exuberance.  This issue gets bonus points for working as a series finale, something rare for the Atlas (Seaboard) line.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “A series with infinite promise.” – Frank Plowright, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983 … “ … not at all redeemed by dashed-off Russ Heath art.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: Let’s go with the giant, vampire spiders. Hard to go wrong with that.
Not-so-cool factor: As with last issue (see review of Planet of Vampires #2), the cover is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Who is the red-headed astronaut? And the white woman in bondage? She’s not part of the the group, either.

Character quotable: “She’s dead. T-this planet is damned – it’s hell! E-everything that’s beautiful dies! Everything!” – Capt. Chris Galland, survivor
A word from the artist: “Whoever was buying and in business was whoever I worked for. I just got the stuff to take home, do it and get my check!” – Russ Heath, on whether or not he wanted to do Planet of Vampires, in Comic Book Artist #16, Dec. 2001

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on May 4, 2010.

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