Welcome to Cover Girl. Each month, we gather a team of WWAC contributors to analyze a new and notable comic book cover featuring one or more women. This month, Lisa, Wendy, Claire, and Nola examine Joshua Middleton’s cover of Vengeance of Vampirella #1 from Dynamite Entertainment.
What is your initial reaction to these covers as pieces of comics art?
Lisa: It manages to combine Vampi’s fearlessness, her blood lust and her sex appeal in one single package. It’s not overly concerned with prettying her up—this is one attitude-filled vamp, snarling after the kill.
Wendy: I love when artists allow female characters to be sexy by letting them be who they are, rather than posing them in standard sexy poses to appeal to the (male) gaze. This is a gorgeously sexy Vampirella that is unapologetically animalistic and messy and I love it.
Claire: I’m into this return to the bright blue eye shadow. It looks violent. The fabric looks like fabric, I love the focus on the hard, heavy shapes of her earrings, and her crinkled up nose and chin. I like that her nipples don’t look like cupcake toppings. I like that there’s that much tension and texture in her hand.
Nola: Like Claire said, the blue eye shadow is really working for me. I love the harshness of the lighting, both in the ways it hits her skin directly and in the way the shadows play in the palm of her left hand. She looks frightening instead of coquettish and I really appreciate that.
What do you think the artist is trying to achieve?
Lisa: He wants to combine Vampi’s allure with her toughness. There are some Frazetta notes to the whole composition—the tone of Vampi’s musculature, the foggy graveyard. The forced perspective is pretty unique. From the POV of Vampi’s victim post-draining?
Wendy: Her bloodlust is as much a part of who she is as that costume. I appreciate that the artist lets the former take centre stage here, instead of the latter.
Claire: Physicality! With presence before anything.
Nola: It’s a reminder that without the “Vampire” part of her, she’s just “Lla.”
How well do you feel this cover represents the character?
Lisa: Very well. I like it better than the more cheesecake-laden covers Dynamite has been pushing lately.
Wendy: Agreed. This is exactly the Vampirella I want to see more of on their covers. Especially on a book called “Vengeance of Vampirella.” Let her tear shit up!
Nola: I feel like the interior is probably going to disappoint me, knowing what I know about Dynamite’s track record. I wish that I could trust this cover—it’s the Vampirella I want but probably not the one I’ll get.
The first issue of Vengeance of Vampirella is out now. Read our review here.