For me, it was never about taking away the sex appeal, or we wouldn't have asked Nicola Scott to do the redesigns. She draws some of the sexiest people and outfits in comics. And we wouldn't have chosen the writers we picked, who also are known for bringing the heat in their work.
All of us like comics that have some spice to them.
It's a chance to do a blockbuster update, those can be a lot of fun.
Do you plan to stay involved with these characters past providing the direction for the revamps? And like "Swords of Sorrow," were you involved in recruiting talent like Marguerite Bennett, Aneke, Frank Barbiere and Kate Leth to the respective titles?
I got to hand pick the writers, Dynamite has been wonderful. It would have sucked if we'd gone through all of these creative hurdles and gotten someone who didn't want to hit the throttle along with us.
I provided the initial new directions for each of the three books, and I have told all three writers that if they need me for anything, I'll be there, no matter how small or how large. But the truth is, we picked writers with vision, and it's fun just to watch them tear up the rulebook. That's what we were hoping for.
Let's look at the three characters individually, starting with Red Sonja, a character you've got a long history with. Given how long Red Sonja has had the iconic chain mail bikini look, how did you and Nicola Scott approach reinventing her while retaining signature elements? Since you're so familiar with the character, was it easy for you to recontextualize her in this way?
Oh, yeah. Again, I never thought of the bikini as "armor," and my feeling was that she lived in the Marvel version of Hyboria, where almost nobody wears any clothes. So the exposed flesh was never the big deal. It's just a look she's had for a long time, and it wasn't even her first comics look.
We went for something that had both a nod to her original costume, the one before the bikini, as well as some elements that would fit a more modern idea of fantasy. It's a bit more "Game of Thrones" or "Outlander." I think it looks just fierce, and it feels a lot more believable to me.
We gave her a cloak that she uses when she doesn't want to be recognized, so her famous hair is under that hood. When she takes it off, it's like Wolverine popping his claws. It's just kapow.
Giving up "Red Sonja" killed me, and it would have been impossible if we hadn't snagged the wonderful Marguerite Bennett, who has been killing it on "Bombshells," "A-Force" and so much more. She couldn't be in better hands.
Vampirella has a very famous and distinct traditional appearance, and her new main look is a departure. What influenced this approach? And how do you see recasting her as a Hollywood celebrity shaping the character's motivation in a way that hasn't been seen before?