Return of the Van Helsings

I think I should probably clarify something about one of my blogs last week. In this blog I discussed that Sela from Grimm Fairy Tales was getting the steampunk treatment. After reading the first issue of the Unleashed crossover, this is evidently not the case. Instead this is a brand new character (and presumed new series staple) Liesel Van Helsing. This is the actual daughter of Abraham van Helsing, the legendary (and fictional) vampire hunter. The reinvention of the Van Helsings is nothing really new, and has been in over twenty different film adaptations. The re-introduction of the character is also not particularly noteworthy in that there has been a gender switch to female (this is pretty standard for Grimm Fairy Tales - for instance Mowgli and Robyn Hood.) What is interesting though is that the Van Helsings as a group are often seemingly used as a last resort to breathe new life into the vampire genre. In this case that new life is both female and with a steampunk design, both of which make the character more enticing for various reasons.

As I look at the character though, I do not really see that many differences from the concept already put forward in the 2004 film Van Helsing, where Kate Beckinsale does not play a Van Helsing, but basically does at the same time. The formula has already been used before, and even not very successfully in a mostly forgotten movie. Not that this character is bound to fail, just that the literary background is both absent and overdone at the same time.

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