Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Death of Dracula – review

Story: Victor Gischler & Marv Wolfman

Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Gene Colan

First Published: 2011 (collection)

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: He is the Legendary Lord of the vampires. Dracula. Who would dare attempt to overthrow him?

Only Dracula’s son, Xarus, a ruthless and clever upstart with the bold ambition to unite all the world’s vampire scts under one flag. But Xarus’s (sic) older brother, Janus, isn’t sure he likes the idea of a new regime and seeks allies to oppose Xarus. The ultimate battle for control of Earth’s creatures of the night unfolds, with the future of the vampire race – and possibly the Marevl Universe – at stake.

Plus: In a classic tale of sorcery and slaughter, witness the birth of Janus, conceived by magic! And when Janus is killed and revived as an adult, the war between father and son for control of all vampires begins!

The review: This collection brings together the first issue of the contemporary comic Death of Dracula and then follows it with issues 54-55 and 59-63 of Tomb of Dracula. Now I do like tomb of Dracula and I bemoaned the fact that the coloured trade paperbacks stop (at time of review) at Volume 3. The issues in here are after that volume and yet I am not a happy graphic novel reader.

Firstly there is no continuity between the contemporary and classic comics, as depicted. The first story sees Janus as an adult and vampire and then we jump to his conception and birth without finishing the story as begun. Indeed the art work clashes not only through the way Dracula himself is drawn but between the contemporary style and the classic Marvel art.

I was also not happy with the jumping around in the Tomb of Dracula issues. The story covers only part of the Tomb of Dracula story that was later converted into the animated Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned. It is interesting to note that in the review for that film I stated “the hopes that Blade would appear… …is a vain one” as he was indeed present through part of this. However the graphic actually misses all of the Dracula taking over the satanic church shown in the animation, jumping straight to the birth of Janus, and then leaves a gap in the middle of the story and finally leaves Dracula lolling around in Hell. One can’t help but believe they would have been better simply releasing Tomb of Dracula vol 4. (Incidentally, the blurb is wrong and Janus simply wants to kill his father – he is possessed by a heavenly agent called Golden Angel – and is not attempting to gain control of all vampires.)

So, disappointing because of the haphazard issues mismatching with each other. A shame. 4 out of 10.

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