Review: The Death of Dracula #1

Published on July 3rd, 2010

Regardless of whether this comic was good or bad in anyone’s eyes, one thing that rings universal is that Victor Gischler quite obviously has big plans to bring vampires back into the Marvel Universe on a large scale. This comic saw the uprising of what could be said to be a ‘civilization’ of vampires. I’m not talking just for a story-arc or two in the future which might focus on these vampires, but perhaps what could be for the forseeable future; and if I am wrong about that, then even so, I want to shake Gischler’s hand for making it seem so convincingly solid on the impact it could potentially have.

This one shot stands as what is pretty much just the prequel to the upcoming X-Men series (even though it is surprisingly not advertised or publicised as that), which is also written by Gischler and lo, also includes vampires.

dracula

This comic didn’t play out as I thought it was going to, in terms of what happened and in what order. I was quite taken back by the story, and was pleasantly surprised by it. It wasn’t anything overly remarkable however, and was a little less than what I thought it might have been overall. It pleased me in ways I did not expect it too, is what I suppose I’m trying to say.

Gischler wrote this very well. His characters were spot on, and were developed exceedingly well in the limited space available for a one shot. I have read a review saying that Gischler did not dedicate enough time to building his characters here, and I disagree. I feel that is what he did best. In terms of his storytelling, it was coherent and entertaining. I am given a rare opportunity right now as an honest reviewer, to tell you a spoiler without technically spoiling the comic, as Marvel have taken that liberty for themselves and printed it on the front cover in bold letters. Yep, Dracula does genuinely die. Multple stakes through the heart, and his head chopped off. I have to say, I thought that he wouldn’t be killed, I really did. But for once, a comic has lived up to its name and done exactly what it said it would do, to the letter. This is a big deal in the world of monsters within the Marvel Universe. The most iconic monster is dead, and a new vampire stands as ‘Lord of the Vampires’.

The story is simple, and at the end of the day is pretty much a story of ‘who will rule’ now that Dracula is dead. Gischler did go to the effort of introducing various different races (‘sects’) of vampires, which each originate from various parts of the world. I think that was the most interesting part of the comic for me, seeing the various different races of vampires that exist. It gave me a better sense of how vast the vampire species is. The comic focus’ on Dracula’s two sons, Xarus and Janus, with the comic being told from the point of view of the eldest brother, Janus. I don’t want to spoil who killed Dracula, but I will tell you the reasons why this person did. It is that they want to bring the vampires into a new age with a different leader, a leader who will rule over them as they take back the world of the humans. Basically, no more living in secret. It was great to see which of the vampire species supported the person killed Dracula, and that person’s cause for wanting to bring about a new era for vampires. There is a civil war within the vampire species now, and this will lead for some interesting stories in the future, I hope. I will also say that after a lot of unforseen twists, by the final page, the person who did kill Dracula did succeed in taking control of the whole vampire species, and they aim to cause a stir!

The artwork provided by Giuseppe Camuncoli (‘Dark Wolverine’) is gorgeous. The actions panels are beautiful, just as the panels where it is just vampires talking, are. I certainly enjoyed the artwork and the colours, Camuncoli gave the different races of vampires (which all look vastly different as well) their own unique appearance, and in some cases it looked quite terrifying. I can always rely on Giuseppe Camuncoli to draw a damn good comic! It’s a shame Camuncoli isn’t sticking around to draw vampires some more in X-Men along with Gischler, that would be cool.

I think that the turn of events in this comic were a little differnet to what I had expected. Especially with the necklaces that enable vampires to walk around in day-light, which I thought was a bit ridiculous. But it was certainly a decent read. As much as I have slatted this upcoming X-Men series which has yet to be released, I will say that if Gischler handles it like he did this issue, then I will enjoy it.

A good job, and I am looking just a little bit more forward to Gischler’s new X-Men comic.

Rob Andrews
Rob@comicimpact.com