Magdalene Visaggio’s ‘Calamity Kate’ Accused of Plagiarizing Jenn Arledge’s ‘Alex Priest’ series

On March 13th, the first issue of Calamity Kate was released to the public. The series, written by Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl) with art from Corin Howell (Transformers: Windblade), follows the exploits of Kate Strand, a ‘gun-toting monster killer’:

“Kate Strand reboots her destructive life and moves to LA to be the superhero she always wanted to be–Calamity Kate: gun-toting monster killer. With her latest career change, she faces new challenges, relationships, and competition; desperate to show she’s worth a damn in a world overrun by zombies, vampires, demons, goblins, and the ultimate monster bounty: the Seven Fabled Beasts of Yore.”

Magdalene Visaggio's 'Calamity Kate' Accused of Plagirizing Jenn Arledge's 'Alex Priest' series

The cover to Calamity Kate #1 by Magdalene Visaggio and Corin Howell.

However, some fans have noticed curious similarities between Calamity Kate and another series, Alex Priest by writer Jenn Arledge, founder of Alredge Comics and artist Scott Malin. Alex Priest, which was first crowdfunded and published in 2017 follows the adventures and exploits of “Alex Priest – everyone’s favorite genderqueer vampire hunter”:

“In a world where vampires and demon ilk are very, very real, two agencies work to keep the world safe from the forces of darkness. Demon Eradication And Denial (DEAD LLC) is a corporate entity that charges itself with the training and employment of demon slayers – specialists in combating magical beings. Living Corpses that Bite (LC & B) is a tax exempt public entity that relies on time proven traditions to keep humanity safe from vampires. When hunting evil became blue collar work, the evil had to evolve.

Recent evidence suggests vampires have learned to use magic, meaning they’re more than just a nightly threat. For the first time since their inception, DEAD LLC and LC & B will have to join forces. Which means, for the first time since their bitter break up, Alexandra Priest and Janelle Garcia will have to face one another – or risk an apocalypse. No pressure.”

Magdalene Visaggio's 'Calamity Kate' Accused of Plagirizing Jenn Arledge's 'Alex Priest' series

The cover to Alex Priest #2 by Jenn Arledge and Scott Malin.

The two series do appear to share more than a passing similarity, as both series:

  • Feature a queer, red-headed woman wielding a katana as the protagonist
  • Center around the protagonist’s duty as a ‘hunter’ of a horror species in a quest to save the world (Vampires in Alex Priest, Monsters in Calamity Kate)
  • Use a reunion between the main character and someone they have not seen for (specifically) five years as a source of conflict (Alex’s ex-girlfriend in Alex Priest, Kate’s sister in Calamity Kate)
  • Cite a bad break-up as a catalyst for the story (Alex and Janelle in Alex Priest, Kate and her now-ex-wife Sandra in Calamity Kate)

It is currently unknown if the similarities were intentional or accidental. However, in response to a 2018 request from Visaggio for ‘transmasc oriented’ stuff to include in a care package, Geek-O-Rama contributor Chuck Pineau brought Alex Priest to Vissagio’s attention:

This 2018 conversation was also joined by Alredge, who enthusiastically offered to ship the three issues which were published at the time to Visaggio, an offer which Visaggio appears to have accepted, though the conversation was directed towards direct messages as addresses were discussed:

As of writing, neither Visaggio, Arledge, or Dark Horse have commented on the situation.

What do you think? Did Dark Horse’s Calamity Kate rip off Arledge Comics’ Alex Priest?

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