Cullen Bunn’s Writer’s Commentary on Vampirella Vs Reanimator #1

Posted by December 13, 2018 Comment

Cullen Bunn writes a commentary on the recently released Vampirella Vs Reanimator #1 from Dynamite.

Hey, folks!

Cullen Bunn here! I’ve been asked to give you a bit of a commentary on VAMPIRELLA VS. REANIMATOR #1! This has been a fun series for me, and I hope you dig it, too. Here are a couple of characters who probably should never have met—but a meeting between the two just seems like so exciting! If I were you, I’d read the book without the commentary first, then go back and give my notes a read. There are a few minor clues to what lies ahead in these notes, so keep a watchful eye out!


First thing you’re gonna notice is the glorious grey tones of the issue. I wanted this book to have the feel of an old Warren magazine. The colors you see in this issue were Blacky’s idea.

Here we have Herbert West digging through ancient tomes of forbidden knowledge.

PAGES 2 – 3

Only Herbert West would cry out for zombies to keep it down while ripping out the guts of monks.


We intended for this book to have quite a bit of gore in it from the start. Eye gouges and throat ripping are just the beginning.


Not only does West give me the opportunity to use phrases like “mumbo jumbo and claptrap” but he also smashes zombies with ancient books. What a guy!


Our Herbert West shows moments of sardonic wit throughout this series. Panel 4 encapsulates that so well.


Now, we cut to the city, a woman on the run, a dark figure stalking her. We know right away that Vampirella is involved, because she’s narrating the scene. But is she hunting this poor woman?

Each issue in the series has a dual narration—Vampirella and Herbert West—to show the differences between our two leads.

PAGES 8 – 9

I just had the feeling that Blacky would like to draw some werewolves.

And, listen, sometime when you see Blacky at a convention, ask him about his ideas for a big, epic Vampirella story. Some elements of it are hinted at in this series, but it is WILD!

Why did I think about that when I got to this page? You’ll have to ask Blacky.


And here’s Vampirella, coming in fast and cutting werewolves to bits.

Hmm. I’m pretty sure I wrote Panel 2 as an inner monologue caption, but it works as Vampirella speaking in his moment. I mean, if she’s gonna kill some werewolves, she might as well introduce herself.


Let’s face it, Vampirella is a bit of a silly name. I mean, I think it’s cool, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a little goofy. Hence, we want to let readers know that it’s a family name that, here on Earth, seems a little more “midnight movie marathon” in nature.


Vampirella gets a little wild here. We wanted to establish that when she drinks the blood of a creature—especially potent blood—she takes on some of their characteristics for a moment.


Seems like that might be important later.


That is one creepy cyclopean church in the jungle.

Poor Herbert, cast out from society because of his propensity for raising murder-crazy zombies. Some guys can’t catch a break.


I swear, if this were a D&D game, my thief would skip rolling to pick locks on that door and just return back to the village to hang out in the tavern.


These smoke-bats are part of a magical alarm system put in place by Vampirella, as we’ll see later. Also, they gave us something cool to look at while West crawls around a dusty old temple.


I dig this page so much. I like that is shows West’s grim determination, and the designs on those mummies is just too cool.


There’s Vampirella’s wings as she flies to her posh mansion. Is this page a little gratuitous? Yup! But, again, this is a tribute to old Warren issues of Vampirella, and gratuitousness was the name of the game. Still, we tried to keep things classy. You know… with werewolf blood.


The smoke bats are back! And they’ve alerted Vampirella to a threat out there in the world. I kept Vampirella and West from meeting in this issue, prolonging the anticipation of their first encounter. But it’s on the way! I swear!


Back to West in the hidden temple.

Keep an eye on that syringe. It becomes important later on.


Let me tell you, typing the Lady of Death’s given name over and over in the script was maddening. I’m not even gonna do it in this commentary! But here she is, and—trust me—she’s going to be a major thorn in Vampirella’s side.

She has an interesting connection to Vampirella.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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(Last Updated December 13, 2018 8:58 am )

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