It seems like no one can just be satisfied with the fun and kick ass Vampirella. She was created by Forrest J Ackerman and Trina Robbins and developed into a proper character by Archie Goodwin. Last month, Dynamite released a 25 cent issue 0 for their new series which will reboot Vampirella for the upteenth time.
Vampirella had a solid run from 1969 to 1983, when original publisher Warren went bankrupt. Harris comics picked up the rights and kept Vampirella in print until 2010 when Dynamite got the rights. Both Harris and Dynamite made significant changes to the character’s origins. Originally, Vampirella came from the planet Drakulon, a planet whose water supply was literally the life blood of the population, but the twin suns Drakulon orbited were causing the rivers of blood to dry up, thus killing everyone on the planet. Before her end came, a space ship from earth crashed on Drakulon and Vampirella discovered the blood inside humans and took the ship and traveled to earth, where she discovered more vampires, descended from Dracula, who also came from Drakulon, but had been corrupted by Chaos, creating evil vampires on earth. Vampirella being a good vampire took it on herself as her mission to save earth from these evil vampires.
This was a fun mash-up of sci-fi and horror with a sexy heroine, with some incredible creative teams bringing her adventures to life. When Harris and later Dynamite got a hold of her, the results weren’t always as impressive. There’s some very poor origin retconning occurring constantly, and I strongly believe that some of the artists had never seen a nude woman before, because if they had, they would understand that nipples are not in the armpits so there’d be no way of having that much exposed boob. Not to mention the fact that Vampirella would have to have an almost non-existent vagina to not be constantly exposed while doing battle. The costume has more recently returned to the slightly more practical proportions, and in one case, completely being updated in a non-revealing suit, which would have been fine, had it not been sort of generic. And we all knew it wouldn’t last, as the Vampirella red bathing suit and black boots are too iconic to ever really go away.
It’s been the unwillingness to just leave the character alone and just tell good stories that continuously drive me away from each new series. I do have to applaud Nancy Collins’s run, though, as one of the best since the end of the Warren days. The new series jumps a thousand years into the future, which is a dystopia. Three people journey to Vampirella’s tomb and spill their own blood, sacrificing themselves to bring her back to save the world. Not a bad idea, not bad artwork, yet again, it failed to bring me back to the character.
I hate to be that guy. That guy stuck in the past and bitching that used to better and the new stuff sucks. I try to embrace the new as often as possible and champion younger filmmakers and artists and writers, but in the case of Vampirella, I’m afraid I’ll be passing again.