Vampirella #1 (Warren)

It’s taken me a while to get going on this, but here is my first post on the Warren Vampirella series. My plan is to do one for each issue as I go back and re-read them in chronological order. I’m not old enough to have read these when they were released, but these were the comics that sparked my interest in the character so I’m looking forward to going through them one-by-one.

This is the issue that started it all – Vampirella #1 with the iconic cover from Frank Frazetta. I love this issue for obvious reasons, but on substance, this issue leaves a lot to be desired. To begin with, despite being iconic, I don’t think that this cover is anywhere near Frazetta’s best work. I would say it is most definitely his weakest cover for Warren. But, to be fair, Frazetta does set the bar pretty high.

On the inside of the book, the stories are okay, but the magazine had a ways to go before hitting its stride. I thought the best work in this issue was Goddess from the Sea by Don Glut with art from Neal Adams. Adams’ art is obviously the main draw here (see image below). The story was good too even if the ending was a bit predictable. We also have the lead story, Vampirella  of Draculon (notice the spelling), where we first meet Vampirella. These early Vampirella stories were much different than what we now think of when talking about Vampirella. She was more of a purely campy character that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously at all. Thankfully, that would soon change. This story tells her origin for the first time, but she doesn’t actually arrive on Earth just yet.

One other interesting thing about this issue is the fact that Vampirella doesn’t really appear in her costume much within the pages. The Vampirella strip shows her in completely different clothes, and she also appears in various different outfits throughout the book. Perhaps the interior art was created before the official costume design featured on the cover had been completed. I’m not sure what the story is behind that. You can see a few of these different looks in the images below.

Here are a few vitals for this issue:

Cover: Frank Fazetta

Interior Art: Neal Adams, Ernie Colon, Reed Crandall, Billy Graham, Mike Royer, Tom Sutton, Tony Tallarico

Writers: Nicoli Cuti, Forrest J. Ackerman, Don Glut

Stories: Vampirella of Draculon, Death Boat, Two Silver Bullets, Goddes From The Sea, Last Act: October, Spaced-Out Girl, A Room Full of Changes

Cover Price: $0.50

If you want to read this issue, you can download it from Archive.org for free. If you want to buy the original physical copy, you’ll have to be ready to shell out some cash. If you’re like me and you don’t mind owning a beat up copy, you can snag one on Ebay for $75-$150 if you’re patient. Another good way to buy expensive key issues on Ebay is to find a large lot of comics that the issue is included in. By buying it in a large lot, the cost per issue will be much lower. You can then keep the key issue and resell the rest of the lot to make some or even most of your money back. I’ve had some success doing this.

2 Comments

  1. Very nice opening to the Warren years. Vampirella #1 always felt like a book where they were just getting their feet wet. Like so many of us we start out with a semi-well thought out plan and change on the fly as we live and learn. Still a classic and a issue I hope to some day own. However the art is still far superior to most books of today.

    Purchased Captain America #695 yesterday…wow…the art is horrible. Made me sad that Marvel thinks so little of Captain America now that they will put out this trash.

    Anyway..great to check-in on good old Vampi #1. Thanks for the post.

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