Dracula #4

CoverSep 2010 | Marvel

Pencils: Dick Giordano
Colour: June Chung
Writing: Roy Thomas
Letters: Rus Wooton
Cover: Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic

The hunt for Dracula continues and concludes in this final issue!

We know how the story ends, at least most of do. We have either read the book or watched the movie adaptation, an honestly, I found myself bored for this very reason. I knew how it ended and it just had too much exposition for me to really care. It felt like things drug on because so much time was wasted on all those words that were difficult to read- thin-coloured cursive without enough contrast with the background colour of their bubbles. It bothered my eyes which started to ache and made me grumpy, so that lessened my enjoyment even more. Very sad, but such is the way of things.

I’ll still stand my previous words; it is a well done, carefully crafted adaptation that does the novel justice. Were I in the mood to read such a thing, my lethargy and impatience with it wouldn’t have occurred. I just couldn’t find myself in that place despite my desire to finish it.

That said, knowing this limited series is the first collection of the chapters that were originally printed in Dracula Lives; I’m curious to read those and see what else Dracula has been up to in the past. I do enjoy older horror comics.

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Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter – The First Death #1

CoverJul 2007 | Marvel

Writing: Laurell K. Hamilton
Art: Wellinton Alves
Colour: Color Dojo
Letters: Bill Tortolini
Cover: Brett Booth

A vampire has been killing children and dumping their bodies for police to easily fine. Anita works with Dolph to hunt down the one responsible.

This book is part of a two-issue story Hamilton wrote especially for comics for fans that shows a bit of Anita’s past a year before Guilty Pleasures. It shows how her and Jean-Claude meet and it’s her first serial killer case. Being new to the franchise, I thought I’d begin here. I do have the first actual novel, but every attempt to get into fails. This, on the other hand, had different fingers. I enjoyed it quite a bit, actually. The art isn’t the greatest to me and looks off in ways I can’t describe other than I don’t particularly care for it. Everything else makes up for it.

I’m curious to see just how intricate the case is, being a two-issue thing, I’m not expecting anything too deep, but should I continue on it’s something I hope to find less obvious. I enjoy mysteries that aren’t transparent leaving the audience with all the needed information before the the heroes can solve things. I like to follow along with the detectives and such and work things out on my own as I read the stories, so that’s what I’m hoping for. I enjoy supernatural stuff, so this had better deliver in the long-term. Disappointments are so awful, especially about things you find exciting.

Anita is an interesting character. I didn’t know anything about her other than she hunts vampires, so this is my first exposure to who she is. She has psychic powers and there’s something about zombies, too which I can’t remember presently. She can sense day and night because of it. She used her psychic powers to sense vampire presences and strengths, too. I’d like to see this zombie angle and what else she can do. Hopefully I’ll see something new in next issue’s conclusion which I look forward to reading.

Dracula #3

CoverSep 2010 | Marvel

Pencils: Dick Giordano
Colour: June Chung
Writing: Roy Thomas
Letters: Joe Rosen
Cover: Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic

After Lucy’s death, children are found drained of blood leading Hellsing to solve the mystery and prove what he knew to be true regarding poor Lucy. Knowing their enemy, the search for Dracula begins while he has set his sights on cursing Mina.

A lot happened in this issue. We dealt with the last of Lucy and Mina has already tasted Dracula’s blood. Things are pretty grim right now, but with one issue left, there’s not much more left to happen.

I didn’t like this issue as much as the previous, two. I was annoyed by how wordy it all was, of course, I wasn’t particularly in the mood to read a wordy comic drowning in exposition, so of course I wouldn’t like it. I wanted it to get on with things and it frustrated me with deliberate slowness and about two hundred words too many. Needless to say, it’s still a really good adaptation of the novel. I will see it to the end.

Ruins

Ruins_0002009 | Marvel

Writing: Warren Ellis
Art: Cliff Nielsen | Terese Nielsen | Chris Moeller
Letters: Jon Babcock

This one-shot collects both issues of the mini-series and follows ex-Daily Bugle photog, Philip Sheldon as he travels the world gathering material for the book he’d like to write.

Everything that could have gone wrong in the world of Marvel, has. This is not a happy story of supers saving the world, but a twisted world saving it from supers. They are not the thrilling heroes we are familiar with, but twisted abominations of things that just went wrong in a rather dark, dystopian world. The tone of the book is heavy and depressing, grating the edges of my mind and showing me a dark world I’d like to see more of. A horrible world filled with people clinging to life and scraping away an existence from the filth they’re surrounded in.

It was a great read. I’m very fond of Ellis’ writing which, combined with the messy-gritty painted art, showed me a believable alternate world-a sad, depressing world of mostly psychological horrors from the shock of it all. To illustrate an example, a bit of material he collected for his book include a disturbing photograph of Emma Frost. She stands smiling with her arms around a bald child with Frankenstein stitching at a weird angle across the skull. Three more children stand with them. Emma is the priestess of the Church of the Next Generation. Her children are legally adopted by members of the church and undergo surgeries to awaken their psychic abilities. It’s disturbing and there’s a horror in that.

My chest feels heavy after reading this. I’m glad it is over and feel relief, yet unfulfilled from the ending. While part of me wishes to see more stories of this nature set in this “alterniverse.” the rest of me is happy that it all ended here.

Dracula #2

CoverAug 2010 | Marvel

Pencils: Dick Giordano
Colour: June Chung
Writing: Roy Thomas
Letters: Joe Rosen
Cover: Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic

Dracula has made his way to England and poor Lucy suffers. Can Dr. Abraham von hellsing save her?

Again, this issue is very good and very wordy, more so than what I’m used to in most books these days. I had a bit of trouble getting into it, but once things started happening, it held my interest and moved rather quickly. I’m still quite pleased with it and still stand by my previous words it is a wonderful adaptation of the novel. It contains just enough to follow the story and more than I would expect from a comic.

I’m halfway through with only two issues left and quite confident it will continue to please. It’s entertaining reading a classic vampire tale, there’s a charm in this older vampire tale that isn’t seen too often today. I think many of them would do well to remember their roots.

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