Dynamite has sent us a new writer's commentary, this time featuring Jeremy Whitley talking about Vampirella #10 with art by Andy Belanger and covers by Philip Tan and Gisele Lagace.
So Pantha… her history is as convoluted as Vampirella's in far fewer appearances. So, we wanted to play on some of the things that were built into her previous solo mini, where they made it clear that she used to be this Egyptian goddess. And hopefully, someday, we'll get to do more with her sisters too.
I love Andy's designs on the Egyptian stuff here at the beginning. It's one of those thing that, as a writer, you kinda throw out there and hope that your aesthetic and the artist's meet somewhere interesting. I think it worked here.
I'm going to sound like I'm whining, but trying to find and amalgamate Pantha's handful of appearances is a task. There are a few points where Vampi meets her or finds out about her for seemingly the first time. She starts out as a stripper who prays on predatory men and ends up an Egyptian goddess with a curse. I tried to lean heavily on a pretty easy to find and understand moment in the Millar run. Then kind of extrapolate what Pantha would have been up to with Vampi missing for 1000 years.
And as you might imagine, things go poorly. It was fun to try and reverse engineer Pantha into Paul's run. Not being able to die is part of her deal, so of course she's still alive.
Listen, I don't really believe in the term "walk of shame", but the walk where you wander through town in tattered clothing after mauling to death a bunch of civilians and you realize that you've lost control…that may be legitimately considered a "walk of shame".
Bottom of page narration is back! It didn't make sense to me to do it when Vampirella wasn't part of the scene, so we held it back until we got back to the present. Now we're back and Vampirella is getting both physically and narratively kicked in the teeth.
It doesn't always pay to fall in love with an ingenue. They just don't know when to stop professing their undying love to you.
Hey! The idiots from issue #8 are back! Hi, idiots! You can… you can put on clothes now, idiots.
It feels good when you build an idea into your story and it finally gets a chance to pay off. The interesting thing about this is that when I first talked to editors Matt and Kevin about doing the story, I knew I wanted to do a road trip to try and save the world. I didn't have a concrete idea of who the villain would be until Matt suggested Pantha, then the idea really snowballed for me.
See, now this is the power of positive thinking. Sure, you have a curse that forces you to wander the world undying for eternity, but how can you spin that to your advantage and form your own cult?
Pantha really has the heel promo down solid. Also, a strange fascination with holding other people by their hair. To each their own. Also, I love this bottom panel. It gives a feeling of the odds that just can't be beat.
Andy actually came up with the idea of putting the scarab on the end of a cane, which really just ups Pantha's status as leader of a wasteland cult to an entirely new level.
I love this page. It's the calm before the storm of the issue, but there's such a great feeling in the art that Pantha is stalking like an actual jungle cat. She walks around them and toys with them. And that last panel. I love it.
Can I be honest? When I came up with the idea for what happens on this page, my first thought was "this is too much" and then the thought that immediately followed was "let's push in farther".
I'm not somebody who really likes to torture my characters, but… the thought of what Pantha would have gone through and what that would have done to her. The torture felt right for her.
One of the biggest questions for me going into this arc was something that maybe certain types of comics ought to think about more: If nobody can die, what are the stakes? And the answer I came up with, I think, was that the inability to die opens up the possibility of eternal torture and degradation of that life.
I like this first panel, because it gives us a quick chance to reprise one of my favorite moments from issue #9. In a book full of death, I feel like it's important to have these little moments where there's quiet.
Look, this is me all the way through. It doesn't matter how absolute I know doom is, I'm going to be doing my best to convince the people with me we can make it. Maybe that's why I'm a writer.
Oh yeah, this is the good stuff. I thought this came together great.
Vicki comes through in a pinch. You gotta get a girlfriend who's there to save you in a battle with demons, you know?
And just when things are looking up, they get worse than they've ever been. Naturally, Vampirella is still throwing threats when she knows she'd done for.
And I am going to say absolutely nothing about this page, for obvious reasons. It leads us up to the last issue of our story, which we'll have out next month!
Guys, I had to carve the next issue down from about double size the first time I wrote it, so rest assured that it is jam-packed with revelations, death and maybe a cannibal or two. See you next month!