Vampirella made her debut in September 1969 with the first issue of her own aptly-titled Vampirella comic book by Warren Publishing. The creation of Forrest J. Ackerman and Trina Robbins, Vampirella was originally a horror hostess for a year before becoming the main character in the stories. Many artists have officially drawn Vampirella over the years. Above is one of the first ink incarnations of her drawn by Jose Gonzalez, circa 1971.
Vampirella as she debuted on the cover of Vampirella #1 in
September, 1969. Artwork by Frank Franzetta.
In 1975, Hammer Films planned on making a Vampirella movie starring Barbara Leigh in the title role. Barbara posed in the costume for some promo shoots but that was as far as the project ever went. The movie never happened. Really a shame because as we can see from here, Barbara would have made an excellent Vampirella and probably would have had no problem wearing the original outfit in the film. Even though the movie never panned out, Barbara later posed as Vampirella for a few covers of the original Warren comic book. This one is Vampirella #74 from December, 1978.
|Joe Jusko has drawn the sexy blood-drinker off and on since 1992. This is from 2004.|
Bruce Timm (who did the animation for The New Batman Adventures) was one of
the artists whose style gave us a more cartoonish Vampirella. This is from 2001.
Always a favorite character among sexy cosplayers at events and comic conventions, above is
then-unknown Scream Queen Brinke Stevens as Vampirella at the 1973 San Diego Comic Con.
Avery Misuraca began as an official Vampirella model in the early 90s and is still
considered by fans as one of the best models who captured the definitive look.
Of course, with a character like Vampirella, it’s a given that there are going to be the “unauthorized” porn and nude renditions of her. This one (by an anonymous artist from Free-Famous-Toons.com) of a bustier-than-usual Vampy popping out of her top after what looks like a violent sneeze, is one of the milder examples. Although illustrations like this abound, I’m sure threats of legal action have kept porn industry producers from making their versions of Vampirella for the adult video market.
Over the years, numerous models and actresses have donned the skimpy red outfit to pose as Vampirella (officially, anyway) but to date, Talisa Soto has been the only one to play her on screen. Above is a promo shot of Talisa wearing the original outfit. Even though this one is a fairly conservative version of the authentic outfit design (compared to the more spot-on version version worn by Avery Misuraca), it was later (and unfortunately) heavily altered before the film’s shooting began due to potential “wardrobe malfunctions” that may have occurred during Talisa’s more active scenes.
Spoiler Alert! Closing scene to Vampirella (1996) where you can get a good look at how the outfit Talisa Soto is wearing was altered from the original she wore in the promo shots. The costume was modified so it would be more secure and she wouldn’t “fall out” of it during the action scenes. Director Jim Wynorski said that since Talisa gave such a sincere performance and remained sexy, he thought most purists would “get beyond” the wardrobe modifications. Well, I sure wasn’t one of them and I’m also sure the original costume would have stayed in place with a little adhesive like the beauty pageant contestants use to secure their swimsuits. Not appreciated, Jim. Not appreciated at all.
Vampirella Archives, Volume One
About the author
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English, traveling, and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the monthly magazine, Effective.
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