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What screams Dracula to you? A lot of blood, seducing beautiful young women, stakes to the heart and crossbows right? This comic has none of these and replaces them with little humor, no scares and a board meeting. Yes, a board meeting is exactly what I think of when I think about vampires. I expected more from a book about vampires and the direction of this issue had the potential to be interesting but came off rather dull.
In this issue we continue to follow Evan as he teams up with vampire hunter Marta to take down the vampires. The vampire Conrad is also having trouble with his business since his fellow employees want to sell his company.
Kurt Busiek is the writer responsible for this modern take on Dracula. The concept of this series is unoriginal and has been used more times than I can count and in more interesting ways than this. For people picking up this issue to see Dracula, there is only a quick flashback from his past that lasts no more than three pages. It feels so short that it is questionable if it should have even been included at all and barely gives us any details about Dracula’s past. You do not need Dracula to have a good story, but this issue lacks that as well. Mostly Conrad’s company is looked at and there is almost no violence or blood to speak of. In the few occasions there are, they are actually very good. The ending was by far the best part of this issue – and no, not just because I would not have to read another page of boring narration from Evan, though that was nice too. The ending has the usual cliffhanger and incorporates what I was waiting for this entire issue – a good deal of blood.
Another big problem with the story is that it is hard to pick up and understand everything that is happening without having read the previous issues. This is the first issue I have ever read from this series and a lot of moments referring to previous events confused me. There are also a lot of characters, none of which I cared about. Most of the characters did not feel developed, specifically the rest of Marta’s gang. The issue showed little of their personalities and focused instead on Evan and Marta, who both bored me. The only character memorable that even added a little humor to the story and was a smooth character that felt threatening was a vampire that approaches Evan with his lawyers. It is a funny scene that was enjoyable.
The art in this issue from Daryl Gregory is a solid attempt. It fails to impress, especially comparing it to other series, but the art is not bad. It falls into a mediocre category that does not weaken or strengthen this issue – until the bloody scenes. The art made the few violent scenes a little more memorable. The problem is there were so few of them that it is hardly noticeable in the overall comic.
This comic was not what I expected – Dracula is almost completely left out, every character except one is dull or lack a personality and the art is mostly mediocre. I understand what Busiek was trying to do. The writing was not necessarily bad, but it was extremely boring. The few violent scenes in this comic were great, and if the issue had more of those scenes and more humorous ones which the author is obviously capable of, then this would be a great series. Unfortunately, these two events are so scarce in this issue that neglecting to pick up this issue at all is no loss – and with all the other vampire series out there people will definitely find a better series to sink their teeth into – just avoid this one.
Overall Score – 4.5/10