With the start of a new year, I thought it would be a good time to talk about what I hope we get to see from Vampirella in 2018. If you’ve read any of my past posts before, you probably won’t be surprised that my wish list is filled with classic Vampirella characters/themes that I would like to see return.
- An ongoing Vampirella series that returns her to her classic status quo (or some resemblance of it). I don’t really care how they do this, but they really need a clean break from the current and recent Vampirella on-going storylines. They’re too different, too offbeat, they just don’t fit the character. Nice try, but time to cut bait and start with a clean slate. If they can find a way to restore her in-story, they could simply continue with the current series at #12. If they opt to start with a brand new #1 (most likely), I think I would choose a different title for the book. We’ve just had so many short volumes of Vampirella, I think it would be nice to break things up a bit with a new title. They could mine the titles of past books like Vengeance of Vampirella, Vampirella Strikes, Vampirella of Drakulon, etc or they could do something completely brand new.
- More traditional horror and sci-fi themes (and, more importantly, a combination of the two). My favorite Vampirella stories have always been the Warren stories that had a mix of sci-fi and horror. I would love to see that return, but I would also just love for some plain old traditional horror to make a comeback in Vampirella. It seems weird to be saying that, but I really think that’s been absent from the title for some time. Sure, we’ve had some zombies and blood and gore, but I’m talking about the really creepy gothic kind of horror which is where Vampirella belongs.
- Acknowledge the Warren-era Drakulon origin as the official origin. The Lilith thing isn’t a bad origin, but I much prefer Drakulon the planet. Dynamite has gotten pretty fluid with their Vampirella origin, allowing creators to use any or all origins. I don’t hate it, but, again, I think the original origin is clearly the best, so why not just run with it and ditch everything else?
- A return to using beautiful cover art. Dynamite used to knock this out of the park with covers that could hold their own beside the classic Warren covers. I’m not sure why they’ve gotten away from that, but the covers just haven’t been living up to my expectations lately. I’m not really one to buy multiple covers of the same issue, but if they had three covers of great Vampirella art, I would certainly be tempted to buy all three.
- Bring back some classic supporting characters. Personally, I would love to have Adam van Helsing and Pendragon back. I liked Coleridge as well, who I saw as a kind of Pendragon replacement. It could be interesting to have them both back in the fold.
Excellent encapsulation of what is wanted and needed for Vampirella to succeed at Dynamite. I really can’t disagree with anything you’ve written.
I was always one of those guys that bought all the covers of Vampirella. I always felt that if Dynamite was using such great artists then I would reciprocate by buying each cover.
Thanks for the post. Well stated.
Excellent Summation of what is needed. I agree with you, they should just start numbering the issues, and stop with the “reboots” of the series, it is not only becoming wearisome, it is down right confusing to this collector, who has a full run of Vampirella from Warren, Harris , and Dynamite eras. I get that comic books are a shrinking market, and that they must create multiple covers of each issue to survive, but that is getting tiring as well… Go for Quality, not quantity and you might just hang onto your old fans, as well as possibly win over some new ones.. Vampirella was always a Adult Themed comic, and thus the stories need to be kept to that level as well.
I’ve never been a fan of renumbering unless it was a situation where a series was truly cancelled and stayed cancelled for a significant amount of time. I think it’s ridiculous to have issue 35 of a title come out one month and then follow with #1 the next month. And as you say, it’s very confusing when you start collecting back issues.
Because Vampirella is more of a niche character, I think it is imperative that they not turn off the existing fanbase. Try to expand it too, but don’t drive away your loyal readers.
I’m with you right up to, but excluding, Adam Van Helsing. I was always thought he was an entitled, gaslighting douchebag who was more jealously possessive than O.j. Simpson. Adam seemed more interested in selfishly, tyrannically controlling Vampirella than being a romantic partner, and his fragile male ego was always threatened by Vampirella strength (in every sense of the word). For evidence of his dickishness, check out issue 89, after Vampirella turns down his marriage proposal, Adam pitches a hissy fit and takes up with Pantha two panels later. Gee Adam, that’s a hell of a rebound! Oh, and why did Vampirella turn down Adam’s proposal, because she was honoring the memory of her Drakulonian husband, Tristan.
I have to admit, I found the Pantha thing a bit odd myself. I seriously doubt Adam will be back, but it would be nice to still have some connection with the Van Helsings.