As Dynamite continues the relaunch of the Chaos! Comics books, it was only a matter of time before Purgatori got her own series. Byron Brewer talked with series writer Aaron Gillespie about his knowledge of the character prior to and how he got the project.
BYRON BREWER: Aaron, Dynamite is becoming big on rebuilding universes. How does it feel to be part of this reassembling of the Chaos! Universe?
AARON GILLESPIE: I couldn't be happier to be part of this launch! It's great to be working with people who all have the same passion and vision for these books.
Dynamite is interested in keeping the same darkly fun tone of the original Chaos line and they proved that commitment when they hired Tim Seeley. I think he's probably the biggest Chaos superfan on the planet and I am amazed by what he set up in the Chaos! miniseries.
I think you'll see this unity of vision in all the books coming out of the new Chaos line. It's a truly original group of characters and it's fun to see them all getting the love they deserve.
AG: I pitched and I pitched hard. I've always been a fan of Purgatori and knew that if someone was going to get to write the book it was going to be me. I'm incredibly lucky that Dynamite agreed.
BB: For the unfamiliar, tell us in brief: who/what is Purgatori?
AG: Purgatori is a vampire goddess who has been altered by drinking the blood of Lucifer. This gives her not only her demonic appearance, but also the ability to control blood.
Purgatori grew up a slave in ancient Egypt. Because of this, she refuses to be oppressed ever again. She's driven by her own selfish desires and doesn't care about anyone else. She will use whoever or whatever she needs to get her way.
BB: Were you familiar with the character's former incarnations? Will we be seeing anything on those takes for this hell-spawn?
AG: Oh I was very familiar. Not much has changed from the classic Chaos days. There are some small changes to her origin but nothing major. Tim has an "if it aint broke don't fix it" edict and there was very little we felt needed to be reworked.
Even with the small changes, Purgatori is the same sexy, lethal, power-driven egomaniac she's always been.
BB: Why was Purgatori the right character for the next new Chaos ongoing? What do you like – or dislike – about the character from past iterations we may see changed?
AG: She's a major player in the Chaos universe. Virtually every other character is at odds with her for some reason so she is in a pretty powerful position. I don't think the new Chaos line would feel right without a Purgatori series.
Originally, Purgatori appeared in the pages of Lady Death. There was such an outpouring of positive fan reaction that she got her own ongoing. I think any character that strikes that kind of cord with readers is bound to be successful.
I like Purgatori's attitude. Typically, you see characters respond to hardship by becoming more virtuous. I think of someone like Daenerys Targaryan from The Song of Ice and Fire series. She responded to her slavery by trying to erase slavery. Purgatori responds by trying to enslave everyone. It's fun to write someone with such a nasty moral compass.
BB: Tell us about the relationship between Purgatori and the Devil. Will Lucifer be a regular player in the book?
AG: Lucifer committed a terrible mistake. He underestimated Purgatori…that's never a good idea. They're relationship has been, shall we say…strained ever since.
Lucifer plays a pivotal role in Purgatori's life pretty early in the series. He shows up quite a bit in the first arc. There are no immediate plans to make him a regular, but I'm sure he'll pop up here and there to try to exact his revenge on the Vampire Goddess.
BB: Have you enjoyed working with Javier Garcia Miranda thus far? How has he been in bringing your story ideas to life?
AG: Javier is a dream collaborator. He is superb at translating any idea into dynamic visuals. It doesn't matter what I ask for he delivers above and beyond. It's really exciting to see new Javier pages in my inbox. I'm telling you right now, you will fall in love with his depiction of Purgatori.
BB: Purgatori is quite … buxom! Think Deja Thoris and Vampirella have Dynamite cover girl competition? (laughs)
AG: Deja Thoris and Vampirella are officially on notice. There's a new girl in town.
Seriously, Chaos was the undisputed master of sexy cover girls. I see no reason that trend won't continue.