Katie Carva, a.k.a. Vampblade, kicked off her third season when issue one was released by Action Lab: Danger Zone on April 4th. She now finds herself trapped in an alternate dimension where the events of season one and two have yet to occur. And oh yeah, there’s also already another Katie there. For those new to the series, there has never been a better time to jump in as this looks to be the best and wildest season yet!
The creative team for this new series features writing from creator Jason Martin, art/colors by new series artist Marcelo Costa, and lettering from Adam Wollet. PopCultHQ had the privilege of speaking with creator/writer Jason Martin and Season Three artist Marcelo Costa about what this exciting new volume will bring. But first, take a look at the preview for issue one, then hear from the creative team dish about VAMPBLADE!
VAMPBLADE – Season Three #1
32 pgs./ M / FC
Other-dimensional vampire slaying comic shop owner Katie Carva literally reboots when the Vampblades transplant an alternate dimension version of Detroit to replace her recently destroyed city! Now Katie must survive the Glarkian space vampire invasion all over again… PLUS deal with a second version of herself that came along for the ride!! It’s double the Vampblade, double the fun!
The hit series reboots with a new artist and 4 covers, each with a risqué variant – including one by Dan Mendoza (Zombie Tramp, DollFace), plus a blank sketch variant!
PopCultHQ’s Spotlight on Action Lab: Danger Zone’s VAMPBLADE
with Writer Jason Martin & Artist Marcelo Costa
PopCultHQ: What can fans expect in this exciting new season of VAMPBLADE?
Jason Martin: Each season we like to switch up the status quo…In season two our protagonist had a new costume and power dynamic, and this season we start out with our Katie Carva/Vampblade that we’ve followed through seasons one and two, but now she’s in an alternate dimension with another Katie Carva/Vampblade. Double the Vampblade!
PopCultHQ: In an almost “Quantum Leap” feel, Katie finds herself jumping from one dimension to another, hoping her next jump will be the jump home. And there even seemed to be some potential time issues for her. You’ve done a fantastic job incorporating the space/time dynamic to the debut issue. How do you take the concept of space and time, incorporate it into this new season, but keep the story grounded well enough that readers will accept the premise?
Jason Martin: Yeah, at the end of last season she had to travel to an alternate dimension, but then instead of traveling back home, she accidentally winds up much further away (in both time and space kind of sort of, lol). It certainly leads itself to lots of story and character opportunities, and then also, the hope is we don’t do anything too crazy that readers can’t follow along. With this concept there’s always been a lot of rules in play, so now there are even more. And I find even myself forgetting or breaking rules from time to time, so we definitely play things a bit fast and loose, but all in the effort of telling a good story. As long as the story is fun and engaging, I’m okay with getting a bit complex or, out there, lol! (And then I try to go back and study up on all my crazy rules to this universe and stay faithful to them!! J )
PopCultHQ: In this alternate universe, Katie finds herself not only dealing with the slight variations to the people and places she knows, but a version of herself experiencing her first transformation into Vampblade. Does Katie mentoring her alternate self in the “ways of the blades” play a significant role in this new volume, or at least this first story arc?
Jason Martin: Yes and no. Ultimately that’s not this season’s story, it’s more to do with our Katie and her predicament. The mentoring of her younger self is just a fun byproduct of that. The book isn’t Vampblades (emphasis on the “s”), so there’s no plan to turn it into a dynamic duo permanently… or replace “our Katie” with “Nu Katie”. As far as how long the two will be together though, we’ll have to see. Our Katie still very much wants to go home, whatever that means now that it’s been destroyed. The question is, can she, and how? And what does she get caught up in along the way? That’s what’s so fun about this new paradigm, there’s so many cool things you can do with the alternate differences (“The little differences”)!! The first issue is really just the tip of the iceberg with that.
PopCultHQ: For this new season of VAMPBLADE, Marcelo Costa joins you on creative. How did Costa come to be the artist of choice for your new volume?
Jason Martin: Marcelo has been coloring for us as our main colorist on our Zombie Tramp universe books for some time. I knew he was also an artist and had seen some impressive sequentials from him (especially coupled with his amazing coloring skills). He had even taken a break from coloring for us to work on a book in Brazil. However, I didn’t see much example of his ability to draw sexy women, which is key for our books (and I don’t mean that in an regard to an artist’s ability to sexualize the characters, but just to draw women who are attractive and feminine). But when he came back to coloring for us he asked about drawing and so we started looking at and honing his ability to draw these characters. And we quickly saw that he was indeed well suited for it, so with a new season of Vampblade coming up, it was the perfect time to bring in a new artist.
And I think people have already seen with issue one, and will continue to see, he’s knocking it out of the park! He’s got a strong style that balances the more fantastical elements of the concept with the real world setting, and his Katie Carva continues the legacy that Winston and Marco have built through seasons one and two. I’m so excited to be working with him as the artist!! (Plus, the other guys haven’t gone anywhere, they’re working on other books in the universe, and will likely be back!)
PopCultHQ: Marcelo, following in the footsteps of artists Winston Young and Marco Maccagni, you’ve joined Jason Martin as the illustrator for his VAMPBLADE title. How does it feel joining this series?
Marcelo Costa: I feel honored to be part of this incredible team. Jason is an amazing writer and a great work partner. I’m really happy.
PopCultHQ: What are you looking forward to the most in drawing the new VAMPBLADE run?
Marcelo Costa: I [just] hope to do such a good job [as] the previous artists did.
PopCultHQ: Who is your favorite character in the series ? (Either favorite to draw or favorite overall)
Marcelo Costa: It’s actually Vampblade. Although I really like Zombie Tramp too.
PopCultHQ: Do you find yourself facing any challenges in illustrating this title?
Marcelo Costa: Yeah, drawing Vampblade is a big responsibility to me. Vampblade is a very strong and sexy character. And showing this experience to the reader is a very important job.
PopCultHQ: At this moment, how many issues could this new volume conceivably run? Are you looking at another 12-issue run?
Jason Martin: Yeah. The book is an ongoing monthly, but we break it up into seasons with 12 issue arcs / one year runs. So we’re really on the 26th issue overall with season three issue 1, but we’ll wrap up this season with it’s 12th issue. And then we’ll get another evolution in the direction of the series!
PopCultHQ: Why should fans and new readers get out there and pick up this series?
Marcelo Costa: Vampblade has a very intense and creative history. And now exploring the parallel reality makes everything more incredible and new.
Jason Martin: Yes! Vampblade has crossed over into Zombie Tramp a couple times, and there was the Zombie Tramp VS: Vampblade series that preceded the first issue of the ongoing (but, pro tip, that story took place between volumes 2 and 3 of the series). And she’ll be crossing over again into Zombie Tramp, alongside DollFace and Black Betty with the big “Death of Zombie Tramp” story arc that’s going on right now. Plus there’s the Danger Doll Squad series’ that feature her, ZT, and DF of course. But we’ve also had other characters in the Vampblade book as well. Last season we had ZT and DF appear in 3 issues leading up to Danger Doll Squad (volume 5), and I can tell you Zombie Tramp will make an appearance in the second story arc of season 3… well, a Zombie Tramp, as we may or may not still be in an alternate universe (okay, we’re totally still in an alternate universe)!!
But yeah, with these titles all being in the same shared universe, they will continue to be a part of each other’s books and stories from time to time. We really like to make it one cohesive universe, while also very much trying to only do things in service of the stories, that don’t demand readers follow it all. But if they do, then the stories are that much richer or broader in scope.
Anyways, I always aim to have Vampblade be a wild ride, that keeps you off guard and unsure where things may go at any given moment… while also building and paying off long term elements along the way. And this season will very much maintain that spirit. Hopefully fans enjoy it, and new readers take a look and dig it too! Thanks for taking some time to talk Vampblade with us!
A big thanks to Jason and Marcelo for taking the time to speak with us. For more on the creators and VAMPBLADE, all the links you’ll need to keep you in-the-know and up-to-date are below. Stay with PopCultHQ as we’ll share all the VAMPBLADE news and previews as they become available. And be sure to hit up your LCS or online retailers for new issues of VAMPBLADE each month from Action Lab Entertainment’s Danger Zone imprint!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Follow Vampblade Online!
Writer/Colorist – Jason Martin
Artist – Marcelo Costa
Letterer – Adam Wollet
Publisher – Action Lab: Danger Zone