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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Yesterday's Paper's - Vampirella

"Hi there! Welcome to the coolest girl meet ghoul mag on the market..."

And with those words so started Vampirella, a title created by J Forest Ackerman. The vampire myth always had a sexual subtext but Vampirella brought this to the fore.Vampirella first appeared as a horror-story hostess in Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969), continuing in that capacity through issue #8 (Nov. 1970) when she was "revamped" as a leading character.

Of the character's origins the WIKI tells us that, Vampirella was originally presented as an inhabitant of the planet Draculon, a world where people lived on blood and where blood flowed in rivers. Draculon orbits two 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, sprout wings when required, and drink blood.
The story begins with the inhabitants of Draculon 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 homegrown "evil" kind.
Harris Comics revived Vampirella in the miniseries Morning In America, written by Kurt Busiek. Soon thereafter, Vampirella was established as being brainwashed by her sister and brother (in the story "Mystery Walk") and led to believe she was from the planet Drakulon. She learned that she was, in fact, the daughter of Lilith, whom popular medieval Jewish lore depicts as the first wife of Adam. Lilith would not submit before Adam and was cast out of Eden. She mated with demons in hell, giving birth to vampires who would kill the offspring of Adam and Eve on Earth. Later, she sought redemption from God and gave birth to Vampirella, whom she sent to Earth to kill all evil vampires. According to this account, Drakulon was a part of Hell where Lilith lived and ruled.

When I was a kid the Vampirella magazines were always placed on the top shelves with the dodgy magazines with titles like Rustler, Mayfair and Razzle, and because of this I never got to buy a copy, but the artwork on some of the covers were stunning and I used to wish I could get my grubby hands on a copy. The magazine seemed like forbidden fruit and my mates in our comic book gang used to speculate on what lay between the covers. Every now and then someone would claim that they had actually read a copy and the tales they would tell were...well, lurid.

 Of course now, as an adult, not only have I seen a copy but I own maybe a dozen of the Warren issues. And you know what,...they contained some fine comic book writing.

Yep, that Vampirella remains one hot bird.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I agree. She's pretty hot.