After some time of speculation, we now know that Christopher Priest is indeed writing the upcoming Vampirella series for Dynamite. It was also announced today that art duties on the book will be in the hands of Turkish artist Ergün Gündüz. You can read Dynamite’s full press release here.
Priest had this to say about the upcoming project:
“This version of Vampirella is set in the real world, as real as I’m allowed to make it,” said Christopher Priest. “What if an alien from another planet were stranded here? What if that alien looked like one of the Kardashians and wore barely any clothing at all? And had fangs, drank blood and sprouted bat wings? We’d assume she was a vampire. But she’s not a creature of occult origins. She’s a Martian who’s now stuck here with us idiots who stereotype her as this THING because she looks and functions a certain way. That would seem to be an allegory for how we treat each other; for racism, xenophobia, homophobia and religious persecution.”
Dynamite also released a selection of covers for the first issue as well as a few interior preview pages which you can check out at the bottom of this post. The cover artists include Frank Cho, Alex Ross, Joe Jusko, Guillem March, Adam Hughes, and Warren alumni Manuel Sanjulian. In addition to these covers there will also be a cosplay cover.
The covers are absolutely beautiful. The Ross, Jusko, and Sanjulian covers are perfect throwbacks to the classic Warren covers. The Frank Cho cover is interesting. If you saw my recent post about this artwork being shared on his Facebook page, you may be scratching your head. When he shared it on Facebook he said it was for an upcoming series written by Tom Sniegoski. Obviously that’s not the case, so I’m not really sure what the story is on that one.
The interior artwork is equally exciting. I particularly love the image of Vampirella in the sky with her wings out. The wings are extremely large here which looks really good. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them depicted quite like that before. I’m also really intrigued by this character that wears a black version of Vampirella’s costume (ala Draculina). We first saw this character in the Vampirella #0 Free Comic Book Day preview. I have no idea what the nature of the character will be but I’m very interested in finding out. Whatever her role, it seems clear from both sets of preview pages she will be playing an important role in this inaugural story.
Based on all of the information we’ve received so far, I think Vampirella fans should be very excited about this book. It appears we have a writer that is unashamed of the character. And really, shouldn’t that always be a prerequisite? I feel like this volume is going to take the character back to her roots somewhat while also taking her in new directions without making the her unrecognizable to longtime fans. I’m really encouraged by the fact that Priest is planning to put some focus on the fact that Vampirella is an alien from another planet. This is something that sets her apart from many other characters and I feel like it’s often gotten lost over the years. I’m told Dynamite expects Priest’s run to last at least a year and possibly longer which would give him time thoroughly develop his ideas.
The first issue will be released in July, 50 years to the day from when Warren published Vampirella #1 with Frank Frazetta’s famous cover. I’m interested to hear what everyone thinks about this announcement, so be sure to let me know your thoughts!