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They're both undead, but they come from decidedly different
When Forrest J. Ackerman and Trina Robbins created VAMPIRELLA
in 1969, Barnabas Collins was at the peak of his popularity. DARK SHADOWS, the
horror themed daytime soap opera that introduced Barnabas to TV viewers, was
then commanding an audience of twenty million viewers. By this point, Barnabas
had been transformed from a villain to an anti-hero. Adept at time travel,
Barnabas used his vampiric abilities to rescue his family from all manner of
Vampirella was from another planet, literally. Drakulon was
populated by a race of vampires. The landscape included rivers of blood.
Vampirella comes to Earth in a spaceship as her people lay dying—the rivers of
blood are drying up. She becomes a superhero, and was quite a fetching figure
in her bikini-like outfit and boots. She sold a lot of books for Warren
DARK SHADOWS ran its course by 1971, while Vampirella
continued until 1983. But like true vampires, neither character ever really
died. They were resurrected again and again in one form or another, to the
delight of their still sizable fan bases.
At the moment, these two iconic bloodsuckers are back in
comic book form, courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment, purveyors of classic
horror/sci-fi/fantasy characters in new comic book titles. Now comes word of a
really interesting venture from Dynamite: a DARK SHADOWS/VAMPIRELLA crossover,
news of which has raised both the eyebrows and the anticipation of both
For Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci, bringing these two
icons together was a no brainer. "It felt like a natural," he told
FANGORIA. "Both Vampirella and Barnabas Collins have been around for four
decades and never had a crossover before. We talked about it quite a bit and in
discussing it with writers, Marc Andreyko (TORSO, MANHUNTER, DR. STRANGE) came
up with the best pitch. The licensor for DARK SHADOWS was happy with it and we
moved it forward." Barruci told us that Dynamite was pleased with the
sales performance of the DARK SHADOWS book, and that it would continue as a
stand alone title.
"Overall, the response has been a 'positive
curiosity'", reports Andreyko, writer of the Barnabas/Vampirella book.
"But there has been some concern voiced by old school DS fans about the
huge differences in characters. This is no T & A book. The story uses both
Vampi and Barnabas to their strengths and their different approaches do not go
unnoticed by the characters themselves."
The TV version of DARK SHADOWS had a habit of explaining
away story inconsistencies as being set in a parallel universe. Might this story
be set in a parallel world, or is it canon in the characters' lives, we
"The arc fits in both characters' worlds," replied
Andreyko. "But as for 'canon', I defer to my editor."
The writer addressed the book's time tripping epic sweep,
which spans five centuries. "DARK SHADOWS had such history that not tying
into it seemed to waste a great gift, but the scope of this one opens centuries
DARK SHADOWS/VAMPIRELLA will debut in August 2012 and will
run for five issues.
"I had so much fun with this one that I would love to
team these two up again," says Marc Andreyko. "So please buy multiple
For more, head to Dynamite's official site.
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