first published The Spirit
in Great Britain ? (Answer at bottom of the page)
|During the mid-1970s a
couple of Spirit stories were reprinted in Warren's Eerie
magazine. They proved to be popular so shortly thereafter
The Spirit appeared in his own magazine under the Warren
banner (eventually the magazine would go to Kitchen Sink
Press where it would continue for several more years).
Warren's most popular hero (or rather heroine) was no doubt Vampirella. Created by publisher James Warren, writer Forrest Ackerman and artists Frank Frazetta (design), Trina Robbins (costume) and Tom Sutton (pencils and inks) the character appeared in the first issue of her own magazine in 1969.
It was only natural that at some stage the two characters would meet, and so it came to pass, albeit briefly, in Vampirella #50.
Mikel Midnight takes up the story which was written by Bill DuBay:
1: "Call Me Panther"
Vampirella, lost in thought, is strolling solemnly through Wildwood Cemetary, mouring the countless dead of her home planet, Drakulon, only to be startled by a bloodcurdling scream. She runs towards the source of the scream, and finds the mutilated corpse of a woman hanging from a tree. Scanning the area, she leaps behind a tombstone only to find another woman, who cries out "No! Stay away from me for your your own good! I can't help myself ... I'll kill you!" Before Vampirella can comprehend what her eyes see, the other lunges from her grasp and transforms into a panther! The two struggle, and a crushing side blow from one of the panther's paws catches Vampirella full in the skull. But as she falls, her unconscious hand clutches a strange necklace, pulling it from the panther's neck, which causes the beast to transform back into a young woman. Quickly, the (now unclothed) girl removes Vampirella's coat to cover herself, and is gone. Long moments later, Vampirella stirs, and sits up to find herself still in possession of the necklace, which bears a panther-engraved pendant. She transforms into a bat to give pursuit, and tracks her assailant down; she attempts to return the amulet but the woman only flees from her, straight into the path of a moving truck, where she is struck and killed.
2: "The High-Gloss Egyptian Junk-Peddler"
Conrad Van Helsing ... professor of the occult, hunter of the supernatural, and psychic ... awakens from a horrible dream: "I ... I saw a ... a woman murdered ... her throat slashed! A-and some horrible creature giggling hideously as he lapped up the girl's warm blood! This was different [from the scene Vampirella saw the previous night] You saw no creature like I've envisioned. The slaying you witnessed was perpetrated by a girl ... a girl capable of transforming into a panther with the help of this ancient amulet! What I have seen has yet to happen. It will, however, take place within the same Central City cemetary. And somehow ... somehow it is tied in with this amulet." Recognising that the amulet has elements of Egyptian design, Van Helsing sends his son, Adam, and Vampirella to seek an expert opinion on Egypt's occult arts. The Egyptologist, Nubia El Amarna, identifies the object as the Khafra Stone, which once belonged to an eponymous wise man and pharoah who may have come from the stars, and who was said to be able to transform into a panther. Later that night, at their hotel, Adam prevents a black panther attack on Conrad Van Helsing and his friend the illusionist Pendragon: successfully ripping the ornament from the creature's neck, our heroes witness its transformation back into Nubia, who wanted the amulet in the interest of science and history. So another piece of evidence is revealed: those who don the amulet are subject to killer rages.
3: "Granny Goose & the Baby Dealers"
Van Helsing and the others learn there has been another grisly murder at Wildwood Cemetary: a second woman was discovered with her throat slashed and her blood drained. As they were in possession of the Khafra Stone at the time, it appears that the amulet was not in fact the cause of the first murder, as Conrad speculated: "It is my theory that some strange, blood-lusting creature resides in that cemetary ... perhaps living under the very tombstones it has been using as a sacrificial alter." They begin researching police files for clues, and Adam finds a confidential report filed by Commissioner Eustace Dolan in 1940:
artist: Ramon Torrents
"Colt somehow clawed his way out of his grave and desperately needing a source of nutrition after thirty-five years, attacked two women for their blood." A trip to New York to consult a friend of Pendragon's named Fleur, a with who has been reincarnated many times, leads Vampirella and Adam to assisting the with in her attempt to capture the criminal baby-peddler Granny Goose. In return, Fleur positively identifies Khafra as an alien. Khafra's descendents, she reveals, also possess the power to transform; however if they do so too often without the use of the amulet they could become irreversibly insane. Finally, Fleur uses her talents to find Khafra's lone descendant: a woman in Egypt.
To read the conclusion, click here
Trivia Answer: Boardman.(For more information, click here)