Writer Nancy Collins talks about her book, Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella/Jennifer Blood #4, on sale Aug. 19. Cover art by Billy Tan.
BYRON BREWER: Nancy, you have been writing Vampirella's adventures in her solo book for quite a while. Aside from the team up, were you able to do anything new with the character in Swords of Sorrow that had not been done in her book?
NANCY COLLINS: Yes, I used the occasion to have Vampirella verbally and physically stake her claim (pun intended) as the archetypical bad-ass female vampire-turned-monster hunter. Readers tend to remember her for her costume, but the truth is Vampirella was the first occult character in comics to have her own title and not be a distaff version of an existing male character, ala Mary Marvel, Supergirl, or Batgirl. In that regard, she is as unique and important as Wonder Woman.
BB: Tie-ins have sometimes been dubbed a waste of readers' time, but these SoS adventures have really been great. Were you expecting the fan response to be this favorable?
NC: I wasn't sure what to expect. To be honest, while I grew up reading and enjoying Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-In-One, I ignore company-wide "event" comics unless I can't avoid it. Therefore, I wrote my tie-in with those old Team-Ups/Two-In-Ones in mind, tying plot points into the larger story arc while trying to keep the action and story coherent for readers who might be picking up the book independent of the Swords of Sorrow event.
BB: Did you get to tell the story you wanted in this tie-in?
NC: Yes. I believe so. Gail Simone wanted a story that placed a fantastic character in a hyper-realistic world, which is why Vampirella was teamed up with Jennifer Blood. When you really think about it, Jennifer Blood's character and reality is far darker than Vampirella's.
BB: Would you be interested in doing the next Jennifer Blood solo book?
NC: I'd love to get a chance to explore her character and world some more. It's been said by more than one critic that my Sonja Blue series is essentially vampire noir.
BB: Nancy, has working on this summer event changed the way you structure your stories or how you handle characters in any way?
NC: It was interesting being a part of the brainstorming in the stable of creators Gail Simone brought together. I am used to having to go back and change dialog and scenes around to meet editorial requirements. I did not really have to do that much alteration—just a couple of lines of dialog here and there in #1 and #4 to tie in to what Gail is doing with the main story arc. So, no, it didn't really change my writing habits.
For more on Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella / Jennifer Blood #4, click here.