A Tale Of Two Strong Women: Writer Dan Abnett Talks `Vampirella Versus Red Sonja’

by Tom Smithyman

In 2020, Dynamite kicked off two titles in parallel – Red Sonja: The SuperPowers and Vampirella: The Dark Powers. Now those two characters will be at each other’s throats – literally – in a joint title called Vampirella Versus Red Sonja, due out November 3, 2022. In an interview with Comicon.com, series writer Dan Abnett discusses the difference and similarities between these strong women and the possibility of this story jumping to the silver screen.

Tom Smithyman: Vampirella vs Red Sonja is a fanboy’s dream come true. How did the idea come about?

Dan Abnett: The project was proposed by my editor at Dynamite, who wanted to see if I could come up with a story that combined the two, and also drew on the superhero playbook by using the great and classic Project Superpowers characters. Having the two leads in a superhero scenario seemed like fun, and a little bit different. I came up with the concept for an epic story, and it involved a lot of world building. The first two parts – Vampirella: The Dark Powers and Red Sonja: The SuperPowers have already been published, and this series is the climactic finale that draws both of those series together (though you don’t have to have read either of them to understand and enjoy the saga).

Smithyman: As you mentioned, written both of these strong female characters previously. How do their strengths and weaknesses play off each other?

Abnett: They’ve very different, but oddly quite similar too. I’ve played up the key difference — that Vampirella is a “supernatural” creature, with “super-powers” that derive from that, while Red has no superpowers at all. She’s just a strong, fierce, skilled and experienced warrior who has a deep mistrust of the supernatural. On paper, Vampirella should win a fight easily. With this story, can they come to some understanding that will help save the day against a far bigger problem – or end up killing each other?

Smithyman: I know they are both close to you, but do you have a favorite between the two, or one who is a little more fun to write?

Abnett: Hard to pick. I’ve liked Red Sonja for a very long time, so she’s probably my favorite of the two, but writing them both has been immense fun, and I’ve discovered how interesting Vampirella can be.

Smithyman: Have you seen Alessandro Ranaldi’s artwork yet? Does it make you even more excited for the book to get into readers’ hands?

Abnett: It does indeed. It’s great!

Smithyman: Many of the characters you’ve written have ended up on the big screen. Do you think this pair could make it in the Dynamic Cinematic Universe, or does Vampirella’s costume prevent that from ever happening?

Abnett: I think both characters – and this epic story – could make a great transition to the screen. Any reservations will have less to do with the costumes, and more to do with the savage blood-letting!

Smithyman: I won’t ask which would win in a fight because that would spoil things. But which of the ladies would you like to have dinner with?

Abnett: Actually quite hard to have dinner with a comic book character. I guess I could prop a copy of the comic up opposite me and pretend, but it’d probably just fall over into the soup every time the waiter went past.

Smithyman: Thanks so much for taking the time to discuss this series!

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