Discussion/Dialogue of the Vampirella-editor with CWN: subject was the BadGrrl-craze!!!
Also see some sections from the covers for Vampirella Revelations #1 featuring Mark Texiera's tribute to the Frank Frazetta cover to Vampirella #1 and an ALL-NEW piece by the legendary Jose Gonzales.
"I'm totally aware that we aren't telling Shakespeare here, we're telling stories featuring half-naked women. But that shouldn't be considered a limitation, but a strength: by their very nature, these characters, especially Vampirella, are able to push the limits of propriety and good taste. That doesn't mean telling lewd, pornographic stories, but ones hell-bent on upsetting the social order and questioning society's staid values. That's something we shouldn't shy away from but embrace. Therein lies an enormous amount of storytelling potential that, I think, great writers have and will take advantage of."
Archie Goodwin in the early seventies wrote some of the more compelling Vampi comics ever, ones that used a sort of Dark Shadows formula, thick with horror and seduction. Kurt Busiek revived her in the early nineties, tapping back into that formula but updating it with a more modern sensibility that accepted the kitsch nature of the character, while executing the story as if it were a Vertigo book.
One editor, now the current VP of Operations at Marvel, brought in people like James Robinson, Warren Ellis, and then Grant Morrison and Mark Millar (as a team!) to work on her. The result was a series of stories that were unafraid to find value in this character. Since then, we've had writers like Jay Faerber, Ben Raab, Dan Jolley and Brian Wood work with us... again to tell character-driven stories, not ones fueled by T & A.
You're right that doing more seductive-looking as opposed to skanky covers wouldn't carry the “bad girl” baggage. But, again, I feel that these characters were buried so deep in the bad girl genre, it'll be difficult to dig them out. It would require a sort of industry-wide trend toward Jusko/Chiodo-esque covers, with stories that match that intent.
Really, that's why companies are doing so many of these cheaper, bargain intro issues, because you need a sledgehammer to break through the walls of preconceptions that strangle this industry. Unfortunately, that's a pricey hammer – the investment put into these issues to price them so low whether it be 10 cents or a dollar is way more than what most comic fans realize. I wish it was easier.
And here is the official site from Vampirella.com which has some more info!!!http://vampirella.com/issues/comics/revelations00/index.html