When I first heard about this book it piqued my interest in much the same way that the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen did, I'm a big fan of story's that re-imagine characters placing them in different worlds and setting so Legenderry falls right in my wheel house. The concept of Legenderry is to take the characters Vampirella, Green Hornet & Kato, Steve Austin (Six Million Dollar Man), Flash Gordon and the Phantom and put them into a Steampunk world, add to that the name of Bill Willingham the writer of the fantastic Fables and you definitely have me interested.
Issue one is what I would call a slow burner not that there isn't any action but you can tell that there is a story to be told and the writer isn't rushing anything, most of the story takes place in Vampirelle's Scarlet club where Vampirelle is having dinner with an off duty Green Hornet. Unfortunately while discussing the merits and ingredients of a good Dry Martini their meal is interrupted by a young red haired girl seeking help from a group of leather clad killer, to be fair I'm surmising on the killer bit but given that they have guns and their swords are covered in blood, its a safe bet they are not collecting for Sports Relief. As the owner of the club Vampi gives protection to the young girl and offers the men a chance to leave an offer they decline (henchmen are so stupid sometimes), all hell then breaks loose as Vampirelle goes well vampire on them and as you can guess there is only one winner.
Once the dust has settled its noted that all the henchmen are identical something the police seemed to miss during there checks of the bodies which is a worry, Vampi and a still off duty Hornet speak with the young red headed and we discover during her flashback story why she is been targeted. The first issue ends with a reveal of at least two of the villain's and the name of the group they work for, the next issue promises Green Hornet and Kato, they had me at Green.
Now I'm not the biggest expert when it comes to Steampunk so I don't know if there are certain rules that have to be followed when setting story's in this type of world, or if any of those rules (if they exist) are been followed. What I do know is that this first issue has me hooked and any expectations I had about this book were matched if not eclipsed. Writer Bill Willingham is not just writing a story he is crafting a world that his story's can be told in, the artwork by Sergio Davila is simply stunning and flows beautifully especially in the battle sequences. The colour work by Wes Hartman also deserve a mention as they have a toned down feel to them, which helps give the book a gritty Victorian feel to it.
As first issues go this one is definitely a winner and I'm looking forward to issue 2, one last note Vampirella's costume change in this story is one for the better and wouldn't look too out of place in her current books. As much as I enjoy the character her bathing style costume was never the most practical one for fighting in, although I'm sure the 11 year old me who discovered Vampirella all those years ago would disagree.