Brian Pulido's Lady Death.
Lady Death is a fictional warlord created by Medival Lady Brian Pulido. Lady Death first appeared in comic books produced by Chaos! Comics (of Medeival Lady which Pulido was the founder and president) and later to various Medeval Lady different publishers - currently, Avatar Press are publishing Lady Death comics. The character was Mediveal Lady the subject of a full-length animated feature Medieal Lady film released in July 2004 by ADV Films.
The publishing history of Lady Death has Meideval Lady been extremely erratic, with the rights to the character being passed from one publisher to another due to a string of bankruptcies. Nonetheless, Lady Death has proven to be a very popular character and has appeared in a number of complete story arcs.
Incarnations of the character have been illustrated by such comic book artists as Steven Hughes, Mike Deodato, Jr., Romano Molenaar and Ivan Reis.
In addition, Lady Death has been depicted in artworks by a number of well-known fantasy artists such as Dorian Cleavenger, Brom, Boris Vallejo, Joe Jusko and Julie Bell.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Classic Lady Death
- 1.2 Animated Lady Death
- 2 Publishing history
- 3 Lady Death Comic Series
- 3.1 Chaos! Comics
- 3.2 CrossGen Comics
- 3.3 Avatar
- 4 References
- 5 See also
- 6 External links
Classic Lady Death
The setting for the original Lady Death comic was medieval Sweden. The woman who would become Lady Death was born as a mortal named Hope. Her father was a local nobleman named Matthias who was forcibly conscripting peasants into military service as feudal levies. The exact nature of the war that Matthias was prosecuting is not specified, although evidence from the recent revision of the character by Avatar Press suggests that it may have been one of the Northern Crusades (also known as the Baltic Crusades).
Unknown to his innocent daughter, Matthias had a dark secret. Although congratulated by the Church for his work against the pagans, he was despised by the common folk as a cruel tyrant. Matthias was outwardly pious, but secretly dabbled in black magic and demonology. He was actually a descendant of the fallen angels who had led the rebellion against the Judeo-Christian God.
By contrast, Hope's mother was a woman so pure and innocent that her bloodline reached Heaven. Hope's mother died when Hope was still in her late teens, and she was left to live with her father.
Eventually, Matthias' cruelty triggered a peasant uprising. Matthias narrowly escaped death at the hands of the rebels by summoning a demon, but Hope was captured by the rebels and accused of witchcraft. Faced with the prospect of execution by burning at the stake, Hope uttered an incantation that she had overheard her father use. This incantation summoned a demon who offered her a bargain -- he would rescue her from death if she would renounce her humanity and serve the powers of Hell. Hope accepted the bargain and was transported into the infernal realms.
Once in Hell, Hope became entangled in a civil war that was raging between Lucifer and an army of renegade devils led by a powerful sorcerer. Hope was devastated when she learned that the ambitious sorcerer challenging Lucifer for the control of Hell was her own father.
Gradually corrupted by the nature of her surrounding, Hope was tainted with evil. She allied herself with an exiled craftsman who forged weapons for the infernal armies. While speaking to him, she declared that the innocent woman she had once been was dead and that she would henceforth only be known as Lady Death.
In her new persona, Lady Death led an uprising against the Lords of Hell. During the final battle, Lucifer cursed her never to return to Earth while the living walked. Lady Death swore an oath that she would circumvent Lucifer's curse by exterminating all life on Earth.
Lady Death finally ended Lucifer's control over her by casting him through Heaven's Gate (a place where evil cannot go), and in doing so became the new ruler of Hell. Many of the beings living in hell believe that the ascension of Lady Death signaled the beginning of the age of judgement - the final battle between good and evil for the fate of the Earth.
Animated Lady Death
"Lady Death" begins in 15th Century Sweden, where Hope, the beautiful daughter of Matthias, a skilled mercenary who is in actuality Lucifer, is accused of being the devil's consort. Sentenced by the town priest to be burned at the stake, Lucifer offers her life if she surrenders herself to him and join him in Hell. Lucifer's plan to corrupt her is met unanticipated resistance, as Hope rejects his scheme and eventually finds herself transformed into the powerful warrior Lady Death, who challenges the Lucifer for control of Hell itself.
Many of the events from the comics are altered in the animated film. Instead of summoning a demon with whom she bargains for her life, Hope's spell summons a pair of flying demons that carry her physically to Hell (restoring her badly burned body in the process), dropping her in the court of her father, who intends for her to join him by his side. When she refuses, he casts her out, only for her to side with Cremator, an escaped slave of his (a master blacksmith) and to lead an army of hell-spawn creatures against him. In this continuity, her curse is to be trapped in Hell for as long as one of Lucifer's allies remains alive.
Lady Death was originally published by Chaos Comics and remains one of the best examples of the bad girl titles that took the comic book industry by storm during the early 1990s. The earliest issues of Lady Death were written by Brian Pulido and illustrated by the late Steven Hughes. Lady Death was originally conceived as a violent anti-hero, but subsequent iterations have toned down the more controversial aspects of the character.
At first, Lady Death was extremely popular and sold strongly. In a recent interview, Brian Pulido revealed that the high point of Lady Death's popularity was in August 1995, when Chaos comics sold approximately $980,000 worth of Lady Death merchandise in a single month . However, sales declined rapidly in the later half of the decade due to broader changes in the comic book industry. By the middle of 2001, it was obvious to industry observers that Chaos Comics was in serious financial trouble.
In August 2002, Chaos! Comics filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the intellectual property rights to Lady Death were sold to CrossGen Entertainment. Brian Pulido continued to work on Lady Death for Crossgen, creating a new series entitled Medieval Lady Death that was released in February 2003. This version of Lady Death made substantial changes to the character in an attempt to capture a larger mainstream audience.
Despite Medieval Lady Death enjoying reasonable sales, CrossGen Entertainment ran into financial difficulties of its own and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 18 2004 in Tampa, Florida. During the bankruptcy proceedings, the rights to Lady Death were sold to Avatar Press. The other properties were sold to Tales of Wonder.
In 2004, a feature-length animated motion picture based upon the original version of Lady Death was released . Produced by ADV films, the Lady Death animated feature premiered at Comic-Con International in San Diego on 23 July 2004. The film received horrendous reviews and was not a major financial success.
In July 2005, Avatar Press unveiled a new version of Lady Death . Both Medieval Lady Death as well as the Classic Lady Death are being issued, with notably many variant covers.
Lady Death Comic Series
- The Reckoning 1994
- Between Heaven & Hell 1995
- The Odessey 1996
- The Crucible 1996
- Death Becomes Her 1997
- Wicked Ways 1998
- The Harrowing 1998
- The Covenant 1998
- Dragon Wars 1998
- Retribution 1998
- Inferno 1999
- The Rapture 1999
- Judgement War 1999
- Armageddon 1999
- Dark Mellennium 2000
- Tribulation 2000
- Love Bites 2001
- River Of Fear 2001
- Alive 2001
- Last Rites 2001
- Heartbreaker 2002
- The Gauntlet 2002
- Goddess Returns 2002
- Dark Alliance 2002 (Final Series from Chaos - Incomplete)
- A Medieval Tale 2003
- The Wild Hunt 2004 (Incomplete)
- Note: Avatar Press publishes two versions of Lady Death: the Classic version (revamped slightly due to her separation from the Chaos! Comics universe), and Medieval Lady Death (the all-ages version from "A Medieval Tale" published at CrossGen)
- Classic Lady Death:
- Abandon All Hope (first Avatar story)
- Blacklands (yet to be released)
- Cursed (yet to be released)
- The Wicked (*)
- Death Goddess (*)
- Dead Rising (*)
- Infernal Sins (*)
- Lost Souls (*) (crossover between Lady Death, War Angel, Pandora, and Unholy)
- (*)=To be read in no particular order.
- Medieval Lady Death:
- Medieval Lady Death (first Avatar story)
- Medieval Lady Death/Belladonna
- Medieval Lady Death: War of the Winds
- Interview with Brian Pulido. Accessed 17 September, 2005.
- Avatar Press Information Page on Lady Death. Accessed 17 September, 2005.
- IMDB Article for Lady Death Animated Film. Accessed 17 September, 2005.
- Avatar Press (Current Publisher)
- Purgatori (Her nemesis in Chaos Comics)
- Taarna from Heavy Metal, to whom Lady Death bears an uncanny resemblance
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