A lot of great comic characters begin as supporting cast to an already well known hero. For example, The Legion of Superheroes was created to be part of the background of Superman’s youth, but eventually spun off into their own title. Durham Red is exactly that sort of character. Created to be a love interest, and sidekick, to Johnny Alpha, she quickly replaced him, becoming the leader of the Strontium Dogs, a team of futuristic, bounty hunters. With her popularity growing, she was eventually given her own self titled series of stories in the British magazine, 2000 AD.
At a glance, she appears to be just another hot, vampire babe without much depth to her character. Nothing could be farther from the case. She is an emotionally complex heroine with numerous issues on top the physical threats she faces as a bounty hunter. In truth, she isn’t a vampire at all but rather a mutant with vampire-like powers, and the need to drink blood.
Growing weary of life as a bounty hunter, she puts herself into suspended animation and woke up a thousand years later only to find that she is the center of a religion built around her. To other mutants, she is a god – and their savior – and is worshipped as Saint Scarlet.
The bulk of Durham Red’s stories are collected in four trade paperbacks: Durham Red: The Bitch, which collects her early adventures, The Scarlet Cantos, The Vermin Stars, and Empty Suns which collect the later stories of her life after she wakes from her long slumber.
If you’re a fan of 2000ad and British comics, but have not read her stories, she is a character that is very much worth checking out.