One look at Vampirella’s oh so skimpy costume and it would be easy to assume that she was created simply to fulfill the horny gaze of male comic book readers. But that’s not the case at all. Vampirella’s origin can be broken down into two time periods, her debut in the late 1960’s and her relaunch in the 1990’s. The original Vampirella was inspired by camp science fiction, such as Barbarella, and earlier pulp science fiction novels. The super sexy main character also incorporated elements of the women’s liberation movement and sexual liberation of the time.
Vampirella went to a different publisher in the 1990’s and was relaunched as part of the trend of “bad girls” in independent comics, along with Lady Death, Witchblade, Lara Croft, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her sexy appearance and barely-there costume carried over from the campy, hyper-sexualized 1960’s into the bad girl ethos of the 90’s. As it so often happens in comics, Vampirella’s backstory was retconned to fit with the times. She had originally been an alien of the planet Drakulon who craves blood but isn’t a true vampire in the earthly, mythological sense. As per the 1990’s and it’s love of occult story, Vampirella became the daughter of Lilith, the original wife of Adam in Biblical lore. When Lilith wanted to atone for her part in the creation of evil, Vampirella was born and sent to hunt down all the evil vampires on earth.
As one of the original “bad girls” of comics, Vampirella has been thrilling readers for decades. Her story arcs have just gotten better and better with time, and she remains a cult favorite for both comics lovers and cosplayers. Here, cosplayer Mr. Proton does a killer job as Vampirella. She certainly has the look down and has the body to really wow in this costume. The photo work and editing add a perfect level of macabre. It takes a confident cosplayer to wear this look, and Mr. Proton pulls it off with panache. This is a wonderful celebration of a strong and complex female hero who owns her sexuality in a thoroughly modern manner. Vampirella has been a creature of various times and social culture, yet she’s evolved to stay quite relevant. And Mr. Proton shows just why we love Vampirella in a bloody good way.
Photography by Pugoffka