Hey kids, remember 1969? Well, comics were very different then, but apart from the slide from silver to bronze, we were treated to the debut of Vampirella in the pages of her self-titled black and white magazine from Warren Publications.
Warren were having success with horror anthology titles Eerie and Creepy. These EC-style hosted comics presented horror and fantasy stories from some of comics’ greatest talents, unhindered by a comics code.
Vampirella changed the format slightly by being both host of the stories and also appearing in them herself.
Reputedly created by Forrest Ackerman, with design from Trina Robbins, Vampirella was popular and successful but as sometimes happens in the wacky world of comics, bankruptcy at Warren led to characters being acquired by Harris Publications, who acquired rights through auction in the mid-1980s and there was a series of comics featuring the character through the ’90s.
Eventually, though, in 2010, the rights fell to Dynamite Comics, and they have regularly allowed the character to appear in print for a whole new generation.
Currently, the title has had a reboot from comics legend Christopher Priest.
Priest has been in the comics industry for decades working at Marvel in the late ’70s as an intern. He worked his way through the ranks and got his first pro writing gig with The Falcon mini-series in 1983.
His early work was under his real name Jim Owlsley, and after leaving Marvel, he joined DC writing for Green Lantern and The Ray.
Comics being what they are, Priest would eventually return to Marvel and also go on to author various novels.
Dynamite managed to secure his talents on Vampirella, and the title has been a real success story for the publisher.
Issue #9 of the title is out this March, and sees a return to the initial storyline introduced in the first issue.
A warning comes to Vampirella, but with an army of foes amassing, things are looking grim for this leading lady.
With a staggering 11 variant covers for this issue, it would seem that this indie title is still proving popular today.
Horror titles seem to be on the rise, and perhaps after the fall of The Walking Dead from Image, Vampirella may be filling a void for fans of the horror genre.
Vampirella #9, “Flight Plan”, is out in March and has 32 pages for $3.99, suggested for teen plus audiences.