KISS OF THE VAMPIRE
by John A. Small
(With a tip of the hat in gratitude to Win Eckert, for offering the original suggestion; to Dennis Power, for drafting the first blueprint; to Chuck Loridans and Matthew Baugh, for valuable assistance through the sharing of certain information; and to my wife Melissa, who only rolled her eyes once upon noticing just what it was I was working on...)
"...Hee saw hir lipps were wet wi' blude,
And hee saw hir lufelesse eyne,
And loud hee cry'd, 'Get frae my syde,
Thou vampyr corps uncleane!'
Bot no, hee is in hir magic boat,
And on the wyde, wyde sea;
And the vampyr suckis his gude lyfe blude,
Sho suckis hym till hee dee.
So now beware, who'er you are,
That walkis in this lone wood:
Beware of that deceitfull spright,
The ghaist that suckis the blude."
(From "The Vampyre" by James Clerk Maxwell;
written in 1845, when he was 14 years of age.)
She is known by many names and appears, in one form or another, in the legends and folklore of nearly all cultures of the planet: the nocturnal demoness who can change form and who is especially feared in homes where a birth has just taken place. The evil that has been attributed to her is far too great to attempt to catalog here; there are those who say she roams the world still, preying upon the bodies and souls of the innocent.
Amongst the Malays she is known as the "penangglan," or living witch; the ancient Greeks referred to her alternately as the "strigae" or "lamiae"; the Arabs knew her as the "algul," the "man-devouring demon of the waste" (known as the "goule" or "ghoul" in translated editions of "The Arabian Nights"). And the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians knew her as a demon who dwelled in desolate places. But it is the name said to have been bestowed upon her by the Nebrews Lilith by which she is best known, and so it is by this name that we shall refer to her here. 
According to the best known (or at least most oft-quoted) legends, Lilith was the first wife of Adam - and the mother of Kane the Immortal. At some point she was banished from the tribe of Adam and sent into exile. The exact nature of her transgression, like so much else regarding Lilith, has become lost in the mists of time; what little is known about this period has been handed down in the form of conflicting legends and folk tales which describe her variously as an insubordinate wife, a child-killer and even a demon lover. (It is generally assumed that - whatever the circumstances that resulted in Lilith¹s banishment - they took place some time prior to those events in which her son Kane rebelled against Yog-Sothoth and murdered his brother, which in turn resulted in the dispersement of humanity by the angry entity.) 
Lilith's exile led her to dwell in an area near the Red Sea which, according to legend, was inhabited by all manner of otherworldly creatures.  Whether these beings were indeed supernatural "demons" or representatives of some star-faring race which had taken an interest in the development of this world is a matter of conjecture; whatever their origin, it is generally accepted that these beings were well versed in certain black arts and included cannibalism among their many dark rituals. Angry and embittered towards those who had cast her out from her home, Lilith in time came to be fully accepted as a member of her new "tribe"; her "indoctrination" included a series of rituals which bestowed upon Lilith the gift of immortality.
But immortality came at a great price, in the form of a savage bloodlust (the reason, no doubt, behind the cannibalistic practices of those beings who bestowed this immortality upon Lilith in the first place). But whatever horror she might have felt was no doubt quickly replaced by the realization that she now wielded a great power she never could have believed existed prior to her transformation. Lililth saw in her new existence a means to exact great revenge upon the tribe of Adam and his descendants: she would feed upon the most innocent and vulnerable of their number, and in doing so would create a race of beings like herself - creatures of the night, neither
alive nor dead but possessing great powers. Thus did this castaway from the tribe of Adam become this world's first vampire, many millennia before the word "vampire" itself would even be coined.
As the ages passed and the tribes of Man spread out to establish new cultures over the four corners of the globe, Lilith's powers grew and her army of minions grew ever larger. In time her powers became so great that she acquired the ability to create "soul clones" - that is, to infect the spirits of certain victims with portions of her own psyche, making them in effect an
extension of her personality.  One of the most chilling accounts of one of Lilith's "soul clones" was related by the writer Fornari in his book "History of Sorcerers" :
"In the beginning of the fifteenth century there lived at Bagdad an aged merchant who had grown wealthy in his business and who had an only son to whom he was tenderly attached. He resolved to marry him to the daughter of another merchant, a girl of considerable fortune, but without any personal attractions. Abul-Hassan, the merchant's son, on being shown the portrait of
the lady, requested his father to delay the marriage till he could reconcile his mind to it. Instead, however, of doing this he fell in love with another girl, the daughter of a sage, and he gave his father no peace until he consented to the marriage with the object of his affections. The old man
stood out as long as he could, but finding that his son was bent on acquiring the hand of the fair Nadilla, and was equally resolute not to accept the rich and ugly lady, he did what most fathers under such circumstances would do - he acquiesced.
"The wedding took place with great pomp and ceremony, and a happy honeymoon
ensued, which might have been happier but for one little circumstance which led to very serious consequences.
"Abul-Hassan noticed that his bride quitted the nuptial couch as soon as she thought her husband was asleep, and did not return to it till an hour before dawn.
"Filled with curiosity, Hassan one night, feigning sleep, saw his wife and leave the room. He rose, followed cautiously, and saw her enter the cemetery. By the straggling moonbeams he saw her go into a tomb: he stepped in after her.
"The scene within was horrible. A party of ghouls were assembled with the spoils of the graves they had violated and were feasting on the flesh of the long-buried corpses. His own wife, who, by the way, never touched supper at home, played a no inconsiderable part in the hideous feats.
"As soon as he could safely escape Abul-Hassan stole back to his bed.
"He said nothing to his bride till next supper was laid, and she declined to eat; then he insisted on her partaking, and when she positively refused he excalimed roughly: 'Oh yes, you keep your appetite for your feasts with the ghouls.' Nadilla was silent; she turned pale and trembled, and without a word sought her bed. At midnight she rose, fell on her husband with her nails and teeth, tore his throat, and, having opened a vein, attempted to suck his blood; but Abul-Hassan, springing to his feet, threw her down and, with a blow, killed her. She was buried next day.
"Three days after at midnight she reappeared, attacked her husband again, and again attempted to suck his blood. He fled from her and on the morrow opened her tomb, burnt her to ashes and cast the ashes into the Tigris..."
Similar stories can be found throughout history. One tale has it that Lilith assumed the guise of an asp - that is, she created the mesmeric (or hypnotic) illusion that she was an asp - and bit the Egyptian queen Cleopatra; this gave rise to the legends that Cleopatra herself continued to roam the earth after death as a vampire herself.  And at Waterford, in Ireland, there is a little graveyard under a ruined church near Strongbow's Tower; legend has it that underneath the ground at this site there lies a beautiful female vampire - another of Lilith's minions - still ready to kill those whom can lure thither by her beauty. 
With the passage of time, it became inevitable that there would arise other powerful vampires who would challenge Lilith's dominion over their race. Of these, none was more powerful than he who would one day become known as "The Lord of the Vampires" - the being known as Dracula.
He was Vlad Tepes, a 15th Century Wallachian prince whose cruelty towards his enemies has been the subject of much Romanian, Turkish, German, Slavonic and Byzantine folklore. He is remembered by most historians as "Vlad the Impaler" - a name derived from his favorite method for imposing death - but he was also known to the simple peasants of his native Romania as "Dracula," a diminutive meaning "son of the devil." (His father, an equally bloodthirsty ruler whose birth name had also been Vlad, had been known as "Dracul," the Romanian word for "devil.") 
That this Dracula continued to walk the earth as a vampire following his death in battle against the Turks outside the city of Bucharest in 1476, and has periodically returned to continue his campaign to spread the vampire cult throughout the world, has long been a matter of record. Most accounts agree that Dracula's vampirism is the result of some pact he made with "the Evil
One" ; while the common perception is that this refers to Satan, there are those who have theorized that the "Evil One" in question was in fact none other than Lilith herself. If this is so, then there would seem to be no better evidence of the strength of Dracula's will than the fact that he was able to break free of Lilith's control and rise to domination over the vampire cult she had founded so many millennia before.
The many tales and legends of Dracula - including his rise to the aforementioned title of "Lord of the Vampires" are far too numerous to discuss in detail here. One exploit that does bear mention here took place in 1809, when Dracula found himself engaged in battle with one Don Diego de la Vega, the Old California nobleman who, as is now well known, was the first to
don the mask of The Fox, El Zorro. (De la Vega had made the voyage to the Old World in order to retrieve his fiancé, Lolita Pulido, who had taken ill three years previously and had been taken back to the family's home for a lengthy period convalescence.) It was the most dangerous exploit of the original Zorro's career, one from which he just barely escaped with his life before finally defeating Dracula. 
Several years later, following his return and after the death of his bride, de la Vega unwittingly found himself embroiled in the affairs of a thrill-seeking young woman who assumed a masked identity apparently inspired by his own. When Anita Santiago first adopted the guise of Lady Rawhide in that year of 1812, it was at least partially out of revenge; she blamed Zorro
for horrendous injuries suffered by her beloved brother, but upon encountering Zorro while in her Lady Rawhide identity she found herself torn between her need to avenge her brother and her sudden attraction to the masked caballero. 
Lady Rawhide eventually became something of an ally of Zorro and went on to a brief career of her own - a career that was cut short by her encounter with a woman from Zorro's past, a woman with a dangerous secret.
That woman was Carmelita Rodriguez, whom Zorro had encountered during his battle against Dracula in 1809. She had been one of Dracula's victims - no doubt he planned on taking her as his "bride," another addition to his entourage of female vampires - and although The Fox managed to help Carmelita break free of any hold Dracula may have had on her, he could not have known that she had become transformed all the same.
Two years after her own first encounter with Zorro, in 1814, Lady Rawhide became involved in an escapade that saw her locked in battle against a crew of cutthroat pirates. Following a particularly fierce battle on board the pirates' ship off the coast of California, as Lady Rawhide lay bleeding and near death, she was confronted by Carmelita Rodriguez, who had been a passenger on board the ship. After years of struggling to overcome the vampiric urges that were the legacy of her encounter with Dracula, Carmelita gave up trying to resist further and fed upon Lady Rawhide's blood. The encounter actually served to revitalize Lady Rawhide and, when last seen, she had seemed to have regained her health and was rushing off to further battle. However, she never returned from this last adventure and it is assumed that she had fallen in battle. 
Saddened and sickened by what she had become - and driven to depression by the apparent loss of Lady Rawhide - Carmelita returned to her native Spain and, in a fit of anger and remorse, committed suicide. But rather than bring peace to what had in the past few years become a very tortured life, Carmelita's action only served to hasten her transformation into a full vampire ; she continued to roam the European continent for many years before eventually returning to North America. At some point during the late 1860s, the Irish author J. Sheridan LeFanu - who had built his career on works based upon "ghost stories" and similar legends from throughout Europe - became aware of events that occurred some time after Carmelita's return to Spain and used them as the basis for his most famous work, the novella "Carmilla."  In fictionalizing the tale, LeFanu transferred the action from Spain to Austria - he was undoubtedly more familiar with the various vampire legends to have been reported in this part of the world and changed both the time period in which the events occurred and the era in which "Carmilla" (the fictional counterpart to Carmelita) died; he also altered the circumstances surrounding Carmilla's death and transformation, though whatever reason he may have had for this has been lost to the ravages of time.
Whatever his reasons for such alterations, the success of LeFanu's novella later helped to convince another Irish author named Bram Stoker to publish his famous fictionalized account concerning Prince Dracula. 
As for Anita Santiago her own revival as a vampire and the realization of just what her encounter with Carmelita Rodriguez had wrought produced a shock to her psyche so intense that it apparently affected her mind, to the point that she lost all memory of her former life as Anita and her short-lived career as Lady Rawhide.
Over the course of the next century and a half accounts of a female vampire roughly matching Anita's description circulated throughout the world. At one point she took the name Nadina and took up residence on an isolated island, where she enticed a number of victims in order to satisfy her bloodlust.  Several years later, in Europe, she encountered an archeologist and his brother, who were searching for the legendary Ring of the Nibelungen; the
brother fell into Anita's clutches and was turned into a vampire himself, forcing his brother to destroy him alomg with a number of Anita's vampiric slaves. 
By the 1920s, Anita - now using the name Lemora - had returned to America where she met a 13-year-old girl named Lila, the daughter of fugitive gangster Alvin Lee; Anita/Lemora's attempts to initiate Lila into the "delights of vampirism" were ultimately unsuccessful, and she was forced to flee. 
Several years later, she adopted the name Nicole and became the ward of a lugubrious stage director named Darvas. When a series of vampiric murders occurred, Darvas - who had become known for sideshow-like spectacles - became the prime suspect; but after Darvas himself turned up as one of the victims, a family friend discovered "Nicole's" vampirism and triggered a final confrontation which - like the previous incidents listed above - seemed to end with Anita's death.  Like Dracula and Lilith, however, Anita survived and continued her bloody quest to regain her past.
Later still, in the 1960s, Anita took refuge in the cellar of a large castle-like mansion which was the residence of a pair of hippies and the mistress they both shared. All four became involved with a honeymooning couple who, due to circumstance quite beyond their control, found themselves having to take shelter in the mansion for the night. Anita made victims of the couple, the hippies and their mistress. 
It was not very long after this incident that Anita happened to save the life of Urthona, a member of a dimension-hopping race known as the Thoans. Realizing that his savior is a vampire, a grateful Urthonia - knowing that she had no memories of her past life and certain he might be able to help - offered to "take her home." During his many voyages across the dimensions,
Urthona had once found himself upon a planet inhabited by vampire-like beings. This planet - which Urthona referred to as Drakulon - had a bizarre geology with rivers and oceans of blood. (It would appear that Drakulon actually existed within one of several so-called "pocket universes"
reportedly created for the entertainment of the Ancients ; there have been reports that the time-travelling being known as The Doctor and one of his many comapnions, Romanadvoratrelundar - Romana for short - found themselves on Drakulon during their voyages in the netherverse referred to by the Doctor as "E-Space," where they helped a band of rebels overthrow a trio of tyrannical vampire leaders living in a lost spaceship .)
The amnesiac Anita, thinking she might at last have found a definite link to her past, agreed to travel to Drakulon with Urthona. He deposited her on Drakulon and departed, leaving Anita to face the possibility of a new life on a "homeworld" she had never known. It would not be a lengthy sojourn, however; another spaceship landed on Drakulon, and upon encountering
Vampirella the ship's captain explained that the and his crew were one of several which had been dispatched to follow the flight trajectory of an interstellar ship manned by Colonel George Taylor and his crew, a ship that had disappeared shortly after it had left the planet. Although neither Anita nor the ship's crew had any way of knowing it, this crew and the ship they were searching for were actually from an Earth that existed in an another universe from the one Anita Santiago had been born into; Taylor's ship and those sent out in search of him had each become ensnared in some sort of space/time anomaly which had plucked them from their flight paths and sent them into parallel dimensions.
Realizing that their quest for Colonel Taylor had been fruitless, the crew set about repairing their ship and began making preparations to return to Earth; unhappy with her new life on Drakulon, Anita hid aboard their ship and accompanied them back to Earth - her Earth, not the Earth from whence the space travellers had come (quite unbeknownst to them). Although she managed to remain in hiding for most of the flight, as the ship approached Earth she found herself once again unable to resist her vampiric urges and the unfortunate crew became her victims. 
Shortly after her return to Earth, the former Anita Santiago turned up in - of all places - Hollywood, where she found herself assuming yet another new identity: Vampirella, the host of one of those late-night horror movie programs that seemed to dominate the UHF airwaves from the 1950s through the late 1970s. Utilizing a gift for acting that she had picked up during her
time with her former mentor, the stage director Darvas, she used her new, false "memories" as a supposed native of Drakulon as a part of her new character; in time, no doubt as a result of the celebrity that accompanied her role as a TV personality, she came to consider the "Vampirella" role as an extension of her actual personality and began using the name as her own.
But Vampirella's TV career came to a halt when she fell into the clutches of an evil sorcerer named Ethan Shroud and the acolytes of an otherworldly being operating under the guise of the dread god Chaos. Even as Vampirella found herself in the unexpected position of having to defend the human race against the threat of Chaos, she was also confronted by dangers of a more personal nature; Conrad Van Helsing and his son Adam - descendants of the same Dr. Abraham Van Helsing who had devoted so many years of his career to battling Dracula - had taken up their famous ancestor's cause of hunting down and destroying evil supernaturals and pursued Vampirella for murders which she did not commit. Eventually the Van Helsings would realize Vampirella's innocence and become her allies - in Adam's case, her lover. It was also during this period that Vampirella first met another ally, "The Great Pendragon," a stage magician for whom sad circumstances had resulted in alcoholism and estrangement from his family. The battle against being being known as Chaos - who, it has been speculated, was a member of the same race which had bestowed upon Lilith the gift of immortality - culminated in an epic clash with none other than Dracula himself. 
Shortly afterward, Vampirella ran afoul a mysterious, mystic presence known as The Conjuress, who used her magical powers to send both Vampirella and Dracula back in time to 1897; here she encountered none other than Abraham Van Helsing, who found himself working to find a way to return Vampirella to her own time period. Their efforts succeeded, and Vampirella (and Dracula) were returned to the present. Vampirella was soon reunited with the modern-day Van Helsings and Pendragon, who found himself confronted by demons from his own past; during this series of adventures it was revealed that Pendragon's wife, daughter and grandson - long believed dead - were in fact still alive but had become part of the notorious Granville organized crime family. 
Vampirella and Pendragon then embarked on a series of adventures that took them around the world to face a variety of weird and dangerous menaces. It was during this period that she encountered such creatures as the Traveller, an immortal gambler whose eternal life continued only so long as he acted heartlessly; the Devastator, a zombie rock star who remained alive by
feasting upon the blood of his fans; and a being who claimed to be Huizitopochili, a Central American sun god, and who had fallen in love with Vampirella. 
Upon her return to America, Vampirella was reunited with the Van Helsings and faced new confrontations with the Granville family and Chaos. At one point, she even briefly encountered the masked crimefighter known as The Spirit.  In what proved to be the single most unusual of her recorded exploits as Vampirella, she and Pendragon were nearly killed by an evil entity calling herself the Blood Red Queen; although Vampirella's eyes were tore out and Pendragon's heart was ripped from his chest, both were saved in the nick of time by a band of dimension-roving physicians named Starpatch, Quark, Mother Blitz and Crouchback, who patched them right up. Upon learning that Vampirella was supposedly a native of Drakulon, Starpatch's group arranged for her to return to her false homeworld to recuperate from her injuries; it was here that Vampirella met Pantha, a lycanthrope from whose race of prehistoric Drakulonian cat-people the planet's vampiric race had evolved! When Starbuck & Co. returned Vampirella to Earth a short time later, Pantha came along and became for a time Vampirella's companion. 
For a brief time Vampirella returned to show business, as she and Pantha embarked on a career as actresses in a series of low-budget horror movies similar to those she had hosted on her old television program. After the first few films, Pantha gave up acting to serve instead as Vampirella's manager. Although Vampirella's films quickly became a favorite among fans of that sort of thing, behind the scens she found herself facing a whole new series of danger and adventure: confrontations with crazed ex-child stars, villainous prop men and special effects specialists, various monsters, robots and at one point - alien, flesh-eating producers. Whether disillusioned by the movie industry or fed up with the strange experiences she had endured during this period, Vampirella again left show business - presumably for good this time. 
Conrad and Adam Van Helsing came back into Vampirella's life around this time, and together they battled an evil occult conspiracy known as the Council of Wizards; Adam, still very much in love with Vampirella, proposed but was turned down; stung by Vampirella's rejection, he struck up a brief relationship with Pantha and they set out on a series of adventures of their own. Vampirella struck up a friendship with Cryssie Collins, a young woman possessed by demons; during this period she found herself battling such menaces as the assassin squad known as Apocalypse Incorporated, an evil scientist named Countess Vorlok, and an enigmatic, dimension-transcending alien known as the "Walker of Worlds." She also faced endured new confrontations with the Granville family and the Council of Wizards, and was briefly reunited with Adam van Helsing after his break-up with Pantha. 
At some point after this Vampirella again confronted her old foe Ethan Shroud, who managed to drug her and keep her his prisoner for the better part of a decade. During this period, while under Shroud's spell, Vampirella served as a sort of tutor to a teenaged girl named Chelsea, whom Shroud had kidnapped and made a pawn in his campaign to create a "replacement Vampirella" for his own pleasure. It was also during this period that Vampirella first came to learn that her memories of Drakulon were false. Vampirella was eventually freed, with the timely assistance of her old friends Pendragon, Conrad Van Helsing and his son Adam - now a U.S. Senator - but not before Chelsea's first surge of bloodlust resulted in the deaths of Conrad van Helsing and Chelsea herself. Like Vampirella before her, however, Chelsea returned from the grave to walk the earth as a full-fledged vampire - a fact not known by Vampirella and her friends for some time. 
Now fully aware that she was not truly a native of Drakulon after all, but still unaware of her true origins and her past life as Anita Santiago/Lady Rawhide, Vampirella once again set out on a quest to learn the truth about her past; this quest occasionally led her to cross paths again with Pendragon, Adam van Helsing and Chelsea. And it was during this period that Vampirella finally met Lilith, the mother of all vampires, who enlisted her assistance in tracking down and defeating other forms of supernatural evil - presumably so that Lilith could regain her former stature as "Queen of the Underworld." 
At one point her wanderings even brought her and Pendragon to Gotham City, where they briefly allied themselves with a costumed adventuress who had seemingly adopted the guise of Catwoman first created by Selena Kyle Wayne half a century before. (Although it cannot at this time be fully substantiated, it is this writer's opinion that Bruce Wayne and Princess Khefretari of Memnon - the "Cat-Woman" he encountered during a 1939 adventure which also involved the Eighth Earl of Greystoke, a.k.a. Tarzan may have developed a more intimate relationship than had been previously suggested and that the Catwoman encountered by Vampirella in 1997 was in fact their descendent.) Together this Catwoman and Vampirella battled a female private investigator-turned-werecat to solve a series of violent cat-themed burglaries. 
Whether or not Vampirella remained loyal to Lilith or ever learned the true story of her past has, to the best of my knowledge, not yet been told.
 The various names for the "female demon" given in this paragraph were derived from an excellent reference book by Dudley Wright entitled "The Book of Vampires." Originally published in 1914, it is considered to have been the first serious study of vampirism in the English language; in it Wright assembled reports of vampires from all age and from all across the globe, and discussed various theories regarding vampirism. A revised and enlarged edition appeared in 1924, and this second edition was reissued in 1973 by Causeway Books; it is the Causeway edition which I have utilized in my researches for this article.
 The information regarding Kane's rebellion against Yog-Sothoth is mentioned in the article regarding Wold Newton Pre-History posted in the "Wold Newton Articles" section of Win Eckert's "Wold Newton Universe" website.
 Dennis Power has suggested that the legend of Lilith's sojourn in this region near the Red Sea may have been the source of the following quote from the Bible: "Wildcats shall meet with desert beasts, satyrs shall call to one another: There shall the Lilith repose, and find for herself a place to rest" - Isaiah 34:14. This quote is from the New American Bible; the New International Version gives the following translation of the same verse: "Desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and wild goats will bleat to each other; there the night creatures will also repose and find for themselves places of rest." And the King James Version of Isaiah 34:14 reads as follows: "The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest."
 The concept of "soul clones" utilized here is based upon information which Wold Newton researcher Chuck Loridans has shared with fellow members of the New Wold Newton Meteoritics Society.
 The story from Farnari's History of Sorcerers was quoted at length in Dudley Wright's "The Book of Vampires," which is where I came across it. Although Lilith is not mentioned in the story, the behavior of the wife - Nadilla - as described in this tale seemed far too consistent with other accounts concerning Lilith and her minions for there not to have been some connection.
 This is a variation of a theory advanced by Dennis Power.
 This is another legend mentioned in Wright's "The Book of Vampires."
 The historical tales of Vlad Tepes have been the subject of several books in recent years, most notably Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu's superb 1972 volume "In Search Of Dracula."
 The reference to Dracula's "dealings with the Evil One" is taken directly from comments by Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, as recorded in Bram Stoker's "Dracula."
 This is as told in much greater detail in the Topps Comics mini-series "Zorro Vs. Dracula"; the reference to Lolita Pulido's illness and convalescence is derived from Matthew Baugh's research concerning the history of Zorro.
 This is taken from Issue number 3 of Topps' "Zorro" comic book series, a story entitled "Men Aren't The Only Ones With Dual Identities," by Don McGregor and Mike Mayhew. It was this issue that first introduced the heroine Lady Rawhide, who went on to individual adventures in two comics mini-series of her own.
 The encounter between Lady Rawhide and Carmelita Rodriguez takes place in issue 4 of the second "Lady Rawhide" mini-series published by Topps Comics. Win Eckert notes that the mini-series suspended publication after issue 5 with the plot unresolved, and that no further adventures of Lady Rawhide have since appeared; this led Win to offer the original suggestion that led to the writing of this article. (Win also stated that "Zorro" and "Lady Rawhide" scribe Don McGregor attempted to convince Image Comics to publish the final issues of the second Lady Rawhide mini-series, but was unsuccessful. "Which means," Win wrote, "we're free to speculate on our own." And so here we are...)
 Wright's "The Book of Vampires" relates several legends from various countries in which suicide and vampirism are linked. Win Eckert has noted that that the final published issues of the "Lady Rawhide" mini-series, Issues #4 and 5, are wrought with lesbian overtones, with Carmelita longing for more "kisses" and even Lady Rawhide feeling a twinge of longing. Win states: "So if LR truly appears to be lost to her (Carmelita), this might be an additional motive for her suicide."
 LeFanu's "Carmilla" was first published in a short story collection called "In A Glass Darkly" in 1872, although it is more of a novella than a short story. It was one of the very first English works concerning vampirism literature pieces to have featured a female vampire as protagonist. "Carmilla" has served as inspiration for countless vampire films, particularly Hammer Films' trilogy "The Vampire Lovers," "Lust of a Vampire" and "Twins of Evil." Years later - 1999, I think, though I may be mistaken about the exact year - Kyle Marffin wrote a sequel novel entitled "Carmilla: The Return," which weaved flashbacks from Carmilla's past together with a contemporary storyline set in the 1990s.
 The influence of LeFanu's "Carmilla" upon Stoker's "Dracula" is well documented. Both Wright's "The Book of Vampires" and McNally & Florescu's "In Search Of Dracula" make mention of this fact, as do numerous books about the history of horror cinema including Ivan Butler's "Horror In The Cinema" (1971), Donald Reed's "The Vampire On The Screen" (1964), and Phil Hardy's excellent "The Encyclopedia of Horror Films" (1986).
 This account was later fictionalized in the form of a 1970 film entitled "Las Vampiras" - a.k.a. "The Sign Of The Vampire" - starring Soledad Miranda (a.k.a. Susan Korda) as Nadina.
 This tale was fictionalized in the 1973 film "The Devil's Wedding Night," a.k.a. "Countess Dracula." In the film the female vampire was referred to as "Countess de Vries." It should be noted that both "The Devil's Wedding Night" and "The Sign Of The Vampire" were little more than sexploitation spoof films; yet both adhered more closely to established legends concerning vampires than many "legitimate" horror films that have been produced over the years.
 A fictionalized account of this incident was told in the 1973 film "The Legendary Curse Of Lemora."
 Fictionalized in the 1966 film "Theatre of Blood."
 Fictionalized in the 1970 film "The Terror of the Vampires," which was of the same "sexploitation horror film" genre as "The Devil's Wedding Night" and "The Sign Of The Vampire."
 This is based on information provided by Dennis Power theorizing that the planet Drakulon actually existed within one of the "pocket universes" referred to in the "World of Tiers" series by Philip José Farmer.
 This refers to the four-part "Doctor Who" story entitled "State of Decay," originally broadcast on the BBC between November 22 and December 13, 1980; the link between the "Doctor Who" tale and Drakulon was first suggested, as best as I can recall, by Matthew Baugh. Although I didn't include this in the main body of the article, it's possible that this world was also the setting for the 1965 Italian film "Terrore nello Spazio" (released in America as "Planet of the Vampires"), which tells of a group of space travellers victimized by a vampiric alien species.
 The account included here of Anita/Vampirella's encounter with Urthona, her arrival on Drakulon and her subsequent return to Earth is a a somewhat altered variation of an account originally shared with the New Wold Newton Meteoritics Society by Dennis Power; I especially enjoyed the way Dennis worked in a reference to the "Planet of the Apes" films and retained it in my retelling.
 The notion of Vampirella as late night horror show host is my reworking of the first seven issues of Warren Magazines' "Vampirella" series. Like Warren's other title characters - Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie - and the characters of Cain and Abel in DC¹s classic "House of Secrets" and "House of Mystery" titles - Vampirella originally served as story host, introducing a variety of short anthology horror tales. Unlike Creepy or Eerie, however, Vampirella had her own series in her book - a series of comedic horror tales written by none other than Forrest J. Ackerman. My take on this series of stories is that the horror/comedy tales were in fact skits that Vampirella acted in during breaks from whatever movie was being shown on her program on any particular evening. I figured anyone who grew up near Chicago watching the now-classic "Son of Svenghoolie" show - or any one of hundreds of similar shows across the country - would appreciate the reference.
 The long-running storyline pitting Vampirella against Chaos and introducing Conrad and Adam Van Helsing and Pendragon, written by comics legend Archie Goodwin, began in Warren's "Vampirella" Issue #8 and was reprinted by Harris Comics in the 1990s as a trade paperback entitled "Vampirella Vs. The Cult Of Chaos.")
 The storylines that sent Vampirella back and forth in time and introduced the Granville crime family began immediately following the wrap-up of the first Chaos plot and culminated with issue #27 of "Vampirella."
 This series of adventures - written by an unknown writer using the pseudonym "Flaxman Loew" - began in "Vampirella" #28 and lasted through #42.
 The Spirit, whose adventures were for a brief time published in black-and-white magazine format by Warren, made a cameo appearance in "Vampirella" Issue #50, a single-issue "epic" which brought Vampirella and every back-up feature running in Warren publications at the time together for a single adventure. Despite the Spirit's presence, this story marked the start of a downward spiral for the "Vampirella" series from which it never fully recovered.
 The Blood Red Queen/Starpatch/Return To Drakulon series of stories began in "Vampirella" #60 and lasted through #66; it is very rightly considered the nadir of the series, and how the series managed to continue beyond this point remains a constant source of wonder and bewilderment to fans who have seen far superior series - such as the aforementioned "Lady Rawhide" mini-series and the more recent "Tarzan: Rivers of Blood" -cancelled without resolution.
 Vampirella's career as a Hollywood "scream queen" began in Issue #67 and lasted through about #82.
 The adventures noted in this paragraph occurred between Issue #90 of Warren's "Vampirella" title and the final issue, #112, dated February 1983. An all-reprint issue, #113, was released in 1988.
 The full story of Vampirella's enslavement by Ethan Shroud, her rescue and the death of Conrad van Helsing at the hands of young Chelsea was told in Harris Comics' 1992 mini-series "Vampirella: Morning In America." The story of Chelsea's return was featured in the Harris 1992 one-shot special "Vampirella's Summer Nights," which also included solo stories featuring Adam Van Helsing and Pendragon.
 The information concerning Vampirella's recruitment by Lilith was apparently a plot point in Harris Comics' recent ongoing "Vampirella" series that followed "Morning in America" and "Vampirella's Summer Nights." I've not read any of these particular issues, due to changes in my comic-buying habits in recent years; however, this plot device was alluded to in the 1997 DC-Harris crossover one-shot special "Catwoman/Vampirella: The Furies."
 As depicted in the aforementioned "Catwoman/Vampirella" one-shot. The idea that the Catwoman is someone other than Selena Kyle is my own, conceived to reconcile the Golden Age Catwoman's inclusion in the WNU with this particular contemporary-era adventure; the further suggestion that this Catwoman is actually the descendent of Bruce Wayne and Princess Khefretari was put forth by Win Eckert and refers to the 1999 DC/Dark Horse Comics mini-series "Batman/Tarzan: Claws Of The Cat-Woman." The presence of The Penguin in the "Catwoman/Vampirella" tale must be regarded as fictional. In addition, although the were-cat creature in this story referred to herself as "Pantha," it was not the same Pantha whom Vampirella had met on Drakulon so may years before; her name was Shari Parker, a private investigator whose lycanthropic origins were not fully explained in this particular tale.
(Copyright © 2000 by John Allen Small; All Rights Reserved)
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