Not Steampunk, Steampulp – David Avallone Talks Legenderry: Vampirella

In February Dynamite kicks off three new miniseries based on the Legenderry Universe. Taking on the writing duties for Legenderry: Vampirella is David Avallone. Byron Brewer chatted with Avallone about the upcoming project and the steampunk genre.

LegenderryVampi01CovBIncenPBYRON BREWER: David, tell us what steampunk and the world of Legenderry mean to you as a writer?

DAVID AVALLONE: I've been a science fiction reader and fan since I was a kid, and like most of my generation, the first sci-fi books I read were H.G. Wells and Jules Verne… and of course I loved those books, and the movies that came from them. 19th Century nuclear submarines and brass-plated rockets to the moon and monster Zeppelins and Victorian time machines and all that. Steampunk is the name we've given to that world and that feeling which was an essential part of my sci fi education. When Bill Willingham created Legenderry, he set down all of these iconic characters in a Steampunk milieu, so it carries all that resonance for me. They're letting me introduce some of my favorite characters from the period, as well, which is a dream come true.

And Bill has created a new term for it, Steampulp, which I'm very fond of.

BB: How does Legenderry Vampirella differ from the character most readers are familiar with?

LegenderryVampi01CovABeniteDA: I think the differences between Legenderry Vampirella and the character as seen elsewhere are largely (and literally) cosmetic. A barely-there 1970s bathing suit design doesn't quite fit in with Victorian high fashion, but she's still the same tough, smart, resourceful heroine with a dark streak. In a way, one of the things I love most about Legenderry Vampirella is that she proves she's more than just one memorable costume.

BB: So this miniseries is in the regular Legenderry continuity began in Bill Willingham's work, right?

DA: Yes. My story begins about 36 hours after the events of Legenderry #7.

BB: How did you happen to get involved with this focus on the Legenderry world?

DA: At San Diego Comic Con last summer, my friend Allison Baker introduced me to Joe Rybandt, and we hit it off.  We were looking for something to do together, and he suggested I take a look at Legenderry and see what I could come up with for a spin off. I had a great phone call with Bill Willingham and let him know what I was thinking, and he was very encouraging. From there we were off and running. Bill's approval, and his enthusiasm, were key in moving forward.

BB: What happened to Vampi's Scarlet Club while she was off in battle?

DA: A corrupt politician, acting on secret orders from our shadowy Council of Supervillains, shut the club down. As you can imagine, Vampirella doesn't take kindly to this. It's not easy getting your steampunk caberet license.

LegenderryVampi01CovCIncenDBB: What can you tell us about the powerful forces conspiring to destroy her?

DA: As in the original series, there's an evil Council hidden in the Big City, and they're set on dominating the world of Legenderry. They have learned that Vampirella is going to get in their way, so they have to destroy her. Since their first plan fell apart in Legenderry #7, they've lost some members and gained some new ones I'm pretty excited about.

BB: Why is David Cabrera the right artist for this miniseries?

DA: David is a perfect fit for this series: he has a natural eye for the steampulp look, and is building beautifully on the world that Bill and Sergio Fernandez Davila and Johnny Desjardins created for Legenderry. Besides that, he's great at portraying emotion and dynamic action. I come to comics from the film world, and David is like a great cinematographer and an amazing cast all in one talented person. The art is absolutely fantastic, and it has been a joy to collaborate with him. I can't wait to see what he's going to do with what I have planned for future issues.

For more on Legenderry: Vampirella, click here.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.