Could We Get a Writer That Actually Likes Vampirella?

If you read my previous post, you probably have an idea of where I’m headed with this. We’ve essentially had three Vampirella writers in a row who either don’t like Vampirella or have some sort of issue with the character. I’m basing this off of things they’ve said. I’m scratching my head as to why Dynamite would do this. Let’s start off by take a look at some comments:

From Paul Cornell’s writer’s commentary for Vampirella #7:

I appreciated the chance to throw some shade at that silly costume directly.

From Jeremy Whitley’s interview with Comicosity about Vampirella #7:

I kind of raised my eyebrows too when Matt Idelson, the editor at Dynamite, was suggesting this to me. My first thought was, are we cool with doing something different with the book? Are you looking to do something different with the book? Because the images that pop in my head about Vampirella are all risque cover type of stuff that was done in the past.

From Chris Sebela’s writer’s commentary from KISS/Vampirella #4

I did my best to keep Vampirella out of her traditional suit. Sue me. It didn’t feel like it belonged in this iteration of her. She’s trying to blend, to study humanity and the monsters who walk among us, why would she call attention to herself with the navel-plunging neckline with her butt hanging out?

So basically it sounds to me like we have three writers who have some misgivings about the character. They think it’s silly, sexist, embarrassing, whatever. They’re not going to put their name on it unless they can reshape the character into something that they like (screw the fans). And…Dynamite lets them do it. I’ve come to the conclusion that Dynamite is just giving these guys way too much freedom with this character. I don’t blame the writers for using the freedom, but I blame Dynamite for doling it out to people who don’t totally respect the character and her history. Having said that, giving writers freedom when the writer actually likes the character can be a good thing. Check out this quote from Nancy Collins about her time on Vampirella:

Nick and Joe at Dynamite gave me carte blanche to expand on the character in any way I chose. 

This resulted in a really great run on Vampirella that was true to the character’s history. So why the difference? Nancy Collins actually likes Vampirella. See here (emphasis mine):

It’s been a hoot getting to continue the legacy of a character I used to read as a kid. And I am honored to have been the first woman to write Vampirella in her 45-year history. If you enjoyed my work, I have plenty of other high weirdness up my sleeve. … In fact, I’ll be appearing as a guest at the Fayetteville Comicon in October, along with Rudy Nebres, one of the original Vampirella artists from the Warren era. I’m looking forward to that!

See the difference? It’s no coincidence. If you’re going to give your writer complete freedom, make sure the writer actually likes and respects the character the way Nancy Collins does.

It’s absolutely unreal that Dynamite would continually hand one of their most recognizable characters over to people who don’t respect her, but that’s where we find ourselves today. I personally hope Shawn Aldridge’s new series Hack/Slash vs Vampirella, which I understand will feature the classic costume, kicks the other series butts in sales. The first issue was the best Vampirella comic I’ve read in a while.

As always, let me know what you think. Am I on to something, or am I just imagining things?

2 Comments

  1. Well as you can probably tell from my previous comments I am in total agreement with you. The problem for me is that since the Nancy Collins run ended I have just totally given up on Dynamite. They don’t want someone to write Vampirella who actually likes the original costume and her history. I’m guessing they selected Nancy Collins to write a run strictly because she would be the first woman to ever write a Vampirella book. She was chosen despite the fact that she respected the costume and history. Thank God she’s a excellent writer as well. We (as fans)just lucked out with her selection. It almost appears that Nancy Collins gave Dynamite the finger and said I’ll stick with the real deal whether you like it or not. Dynamite won’t let that happen again. They even admitted they would have put Sheena in a less revealing costume if they legally could have.

    We know that Dynamite’s editors and writers read this blog. They know we despise them. So why are we even promoting the shit they produce anymore. No more publicity. Lets go back and discuss the Warren and Harris years in more detail. When Dynamite fails and someone else picks up Vampirella we can start promoting them.

    Here’s to the collapse of Dynamite. May it be soon and painful.

    • I mentioned this in my comment on the previous post, but I am going to be going through the entire Warren run with some review/commentary/informative type posts. I’ve had it on the back burner for a while because they’re going to be a bit more time consuming, but I promise they’re coming!

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