Vampirella, 1969 – So, you’re a hot alien vampire chick from planet Draculon, why not wear a red thong suit that fits like a surgical glove, thigh high boots, and go hunt the evil kind of vampires? Forrest J. Ackerman thought this was a great idea, and then created Vampirella, who started out as a horror host, but went on to become hero of her own story. And on, and on, and on, –her first appearance was in 1969, in Warren Publishing, till 1983. Then she was snapped up by Harris Publishing in 1991, where she lives on today. She also inspired the spin-off manga character Vampi, who thank god, appears to be much more short-lived.
Tomb of Dracula, 1972 – Tomb existed in the Marvel universe from ’72, to ’79, and featured probably the most notorious big bad of the known world, –Dracula! The vampire hunting team constantly battles Dracula, who in turn, fights other occasional guest stars, like Jack Russel from Werewolf by Night, Blade, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and even Solomon Kane (who doesn’t really even count as a Marvel character!). Once in a while, Dracula and the vampire hunters team up to fight a common threat, but mostly of the time, he prefers to maintain his supervillain status.
I…Vampire, 1981 – I… Vampire was part of the horror comic anthology House of Mystery, which is one of those comic books that just won’t die! It was recently revitalized in May ’08, and is still being published today. I… Vampire appeared in 24 issues, from ’81 to ’83, and revolved around the depressed, flamboyantly depicted blood-aholic vampire Lord Andrew Bennett, just under 400 years old. Bennett turned his lover, Mary Seward into a vampire, and Mary created a group of vampires, then they all ran off to take over the world. Bennett refuses to kill for blood and instead drinks it from bottles. He’s also suicidal; charming guy, no? The story follows him through bouts of depression, suicide attempts, and battles with his ex, now supervillain.
Cassidy in Preacher, 1995 – Cassidy is the best friend, sometimes foe, of Jesse Custer, the hero and the Preacher. Jesse has the power of the ‘Word of God’, a command that forces other to obey, as a results of being possessed by an angel/demon named Genesis. Cassidy gets involved in a love triangle with Tulip; Tulip in love with the oblivious Custer, Cassidy in love with Tulip. Cassidy has various substance abuse issues, though he doesn’t kill for blood, –he doesn’t even have to have human blood, and instead, prefers booze. I wouldn’t recommend the comic to anyone unless you’re in the mood for some seriously depressing stuff.
30 Days of Night, 2002 – Wanna hear something funny? Before 30 Days of Night was a movie, it was a comic book miniseries, that was actually inspired by a failed attempt at a 30 Days of Night movie. Apparently, your comic book has to succeed before your movie can; Hollywood is truly a bloodthirsty little city, no? The original series was only three issues long, however, there are a ton of sequels, and returns to the original series. Dark Days is the sequel in which Stella strikes a deal with some vampires from L.A. in order to bring her husband back, –the sheriff who saved the town by infecting himself with the vampire “disease.”