Vampirella is a fictional character, a comic book vampire superheroine created by Forrest J Ackerman and costume designer Trina Robbins in Warren Publishing’s black-and-white horror comics magazine Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969). Writer-editor Archie Goodwin later developed the character from horror-story hostess, in which capacity she remained through issue #8 (Nov. 1970), to a horror-drama leading character.
Vampirella initially appeared in Warren Publishing’s black-and-white horror-comics magazine Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969), running to issue #112 (March 1983). The title was a sister magazine of Warren’s horror anthologies Creepy and Eerie. Like those magazines’ respective mascots, Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie, Vampirella hosted horror stories, though unlike them, she would also star in her own story, which would headline each issue.
Various legal wrangles ensued since 1983 which stopped publication however we’re pleased to report that Vampirella is alive and well in comic book form in 2013 via Dynamite.
Vampirella was originally presented as an inhabitant of the planet Drakulon, a world where a vampiric race lived on blood and where blood flowed in rivers. Draculon orbits twin suns that were causing droughts across the planet, marking certain doom for Vampirella and her race. The race of which Vampirella was born, the Vampiri, were able to transform themselves into bats at will, possessed superhuman physical attributes, sprout wings when required to fly, and drink blood.
The story begins with the inhabitants of Drakulon dying slowly due to the drying up of its blood. The last few lie dying when a spaceship from Earth crashes on the planet. Vampirella, sent to investigate, is attacked; retaliating, she discovers that the astronauts have blood in their veins. In order for her race to survive, she manages to pilot the ship back to Earth where her adventures begin. Vampirella becomes a “good” vampire, and devotes her energy to ridding our world of the evil kind. Evil vampires owe their existence to Dracula, who came from Drakulon but was corrupted by Chaos.
In 1976, it was announced the British company Hammer Films were making a big screen adaptation of Vampirella and publicity material was circulated. However, Hammer’s plans came to nothing and their last horror film before their 21st century revival was To the Devil… a Daughter.
In 1996, Vampirella was finally adapted as a direct to video movie version of the comic starring Talisa Soto in the titular role, The Who’s Roger Daltrey, Richard Joseph Paul, and Corinna Harney. It was directed by Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall) for Roger Corman’s New Concorde company. The resulting movie was not well received by fans or critics.
Buy The Art of Vampirella: The Warren Years from Amazon.com