something entertaining that I myself would enjoy reading—andhopefully other people will, too.”
What led to the decision to make Vlad Dracula a major player in the first arc? “Some of that came directly from Joe and Nick—but honestly, if you want to start off a new Vampirella story with a bang, who better for her to face than the king of the vampires?”
As Trautmann explained, there’s a history between Vampi and Vlad. “Vampirella and Dracula have had a longstanding animosity; if she's attempting to rid the world of the vampire threat, the conflict with Dracula is fairly straightforward. Add to that

Vampirella's connection to the Van Helsing family—her tragic and doomed romantic involvement with vampire hunterAdam Van Helsing—and those ties to Dracula and his history run deep.”
Vampirella may seem a surprising choice for humanity’s defender, but Trautmann explained that it’s actually quite understandable. “Vampirella has seen the results of a world devoured by vampires—be it the "Planet Draculon," or a realm of hell, or memory implants, depending on which version of her backstory you favor. But to her, those memories feel real, they feel true. She's witnessed a vampire plague devour an entire world, and it isn't a pretty sight. So, she's determined to prevent that

catastrophe from happening here.
“I believe she quite likes humans, that she's intrigued and a little mystified by us—but she feels apart from them, too.”
“I’d go even further and say that it’s an intrinsic part of Vampirella’s nature that she wants to protect humans,” Barrucci said.
And how do humans feel about Vampirella? “That's something I hope to play up quite a bit in the first four or five issues,” Trautmann said. “Humans see her—this tall, statuesque, gorgeous woman—and it triggers an instinctual revulsion or fear. She projects an aura of other, of alien-ness, and that makes it difficult for her to form any kind of friendships or personal relationships. In many ways, she's very alienated and

isolated from the people she's fighting to save.“
And what about this new menace thatthreatens both Vampirella and Vlad Dracula? “It’s something impossibly ancient, and powerful enough that even Dracula fears and respects it,”?Trautmann said. “Of course, Vlad being Vlad, he also wants to manipulate it to his own ends.”
The description of the premiere story arc refers a darker tone to the new Vampirella; what exactly does Trautmann have in the works??“Well, I’m going to avoid speaking in plot specifics, simply to avoid spoilers,” the writer said. “But certainly, there's a darker, harder-edged, more street-level tone I'm attempting. We'll see a tougher, more ruthless streak to Vampirella, specifically in her combat with vampires.
“And [artist] Wagner Reis—particularly his backgrounds and lightning—is crafting a very realistic, plausible world for Vampirella to move through, which gives it all a tactile quality that is certainly informing the writing.”
With a new series and a new direction comes a new supporting cast that “includes a young woman named Sofia, and a few of Dracula's key lieutenants (including an early ‘conquest’ of Vlad's, Le Fanu),” Trautmann said.
Trautmann is constructing the story so that new readers will be able to enjoy Vampirella from the first Dynamite issue. “All that readers have to know is that ‘she’s a vampiric creature who hunts vampires,’” he said. “The reader should have no trouble jumping on. I'm not interested in wiping out or retconning the work of the writers who came before, but I don't think it's necessary to spell out everything right off the bat, either.”
“We’re picking up the elements that we feel are best and important to Vampirella's canon,” Barrucci said. “We want to open up stories for new readers, as well as creating entertaining stories for existing fans.”

Different writers establish different "rules of vampirism" for different series--so what are thetenets of vampirism in this series, and what traditions are being tossed aside? “Vampire lore has stuck around for so long because it works,” Trautmann explained. “I'm not looking to reinvent vampire mythology or anything. The basics— garlic, holy water, stakes in the heart, and so on— will be well-represented. And you can expect a lot of the action to be taking place at night.
“I doubt that many of the rank-and-file vampires

—the ‘newly blooded’—will be able to turn intobats or wolves, but the older, more powerful vampires may very well have expanded abilities.”
In a medium that seems almost overloaded with vampires, how does Trautmann intend to make Vampirella stand out? “She won't be particularly flooded with tween romance angst, or wearing a ‘Team Edward’ button, I can assure you of that. Vampirella would beat the sparkles right off of Edward!
“All kidding aside, I think that, because Vampirella is such an iconic figure, she already stands out. So, my plan is simply to craft a smart, action-packed story for her.”
“She is one of the most iconic female characters in comics, and has been for over forty years,” Barrucci added, “and presenting a great story with great art is the best way to make her stand out. In addition to Eric writing and Wagner illustrating the series, we have brought in some of the best cover artists in comics to help create awareness, including J. Scott Campbell, Alex Ross, Jelena Kevin-Djurdjevic, and Joe Madureira—and the execution of the comic itself will help Vampirella stand out. “
What other new Vampirella projects are in the works? “On Vampirella we’re focusing on the main series now, we’ll evaluate any mini-series or crossovers as they happen,” Barrucci said. “However, we don’t want to do any crossovers currently—we’d rather focus on the main series.”
Vampirella #1, a $3.99 comic by Eric Trautmann & Wagner Reis, is scheduled for November release. The first issue will feature a mix of covers by J. Scott Campbell, Alex Ross, and Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic, with a second Alex Ross cover offered as a 1-in-21 variant. To find a comic shop near you, try the Comic Book Locator Service.

by Cliff Biggers

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Vampirella Gets Re-Vamped
She’s been missing from comic shops for a quite a while now, but that doesn’t mean she’s gone for good. Quite the contrary, the sensual vampire is ready to make her return this fall, courtesy of her new publisher, Dynamite.
Vampirella #1 finds Vampi hot on the trail of her greatest nemesis, Vlad Dracula. But Vlad is far from her only worry—there’s something even more sinister than vampires lurking in the shadows... something that disturbs even Dracula himself.
Vampirella’s Dynamite debut is written by Eric Trautmann, whose work has been seen in the pages of Action Comics, Adventure Comics, Mighty Crusaders, and Red Sonja, among other titles. How did Trautmann land the assignment??“Just a case of being in the right place at the right time, I suspect,” Trautmann said. “I had just turned in my first issue of Red Sonja, issue #51, and [editor] Joe Rybandt was pretty insistent that I pitch Vampirella immediately.”
“We’ve followed Eric’s career since he was on Action Comics,” Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci added. “We respect his work. We talked, we had similar visions, and we were happy to work with him. He had the crispest, most ideal and focused overview that we reviewed.”
“I know I'm not well-known for horror stories, and there's certainly a horror unpinning to Vampirella, so this has been a little out of my comfort zone,”?Trautmann continued. “So I'm trying to do a good job and tell a good story, and to do