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Dracula: The Company of Monsters #9 – Review

Luckily, after reading a terrible seventh issue and a decent eighth issue Dracula: The Company of Monsters #9 hits many soft spots but still has quite a few rough patches that make me question why the series has been so acclaimed since the first issueThe battle between Conrad and Dracula finally begins here, with Evan playing the double-crosser of both Dracula and Conrad seeking help from the vampire-hunter Marta and her gang.  Unfortunately fanboys of the series will be slightly disappointed that the battle between Dracula and Conrad may be set into motion this issue but there’s no fighting just yet.  Luckily, the opening sequence featuring Evan, Conrad and Dracula is more than enough to hold you over for now and is the strongest section in the comic.  The bats and wolves living in the daunting forest bring back memories of classic vampire clichés that old school vampire fans will enjoy.  There’s even an obscure mention made in the comic about Renfield, a man controlled by Dracula from the original Bram Stoker novel.  Kurt Busiek's Dracula: Company of Monsters #9Writer Kurt Busiek and Daryl Gregory,  deserve credit for bringing back the old-school vampire while linking it only slightly with the new age world; keeping it gritty and not another Twilight.  The story does pull the other less successful cliché of starting later into the next issue and then the rest of the story being a flashback and unfortunately this future was much more entertaining than the past. With Evan giving us some lessons with various languages that got a little boring after a panel or two and started to remind me of history class.  But some history that would be useful would be a nice recap page at the beginning of the story.  This issue goes without and tries explaining the story throughout the issue, losing my interest a bit, since it reiterates what I only just read last issue.  It is a new story arc and helpful to newcomers, but so is a recap page which does not irritate the many devoted followers Busiek has. The characters range from slightly boring and underdeveloped to intriguing people you can sympathize with.  Luckily the most important character to like (since we’ve had to watch him for nine issues straight) is both likable and empathetic.  Evan has greatly developed throughout these three issues alone with the transformation of his mother, the best concept in issue seven living on this issue as another strong moment that almost forces me to sympathize with Evan. Conrad is also written well as a business man.  And it is interesting to see the business world clash with Dracula when there aren’t any board meetings involved.  All the characters also have a subtle humor that, while not reducing me to immature giggles or a gut-wrenching laugh, does make me smirk a bit at times.  Marta’s gang members have given names and not much else, so hopefully they will become more developed, but Marta is still a huge problem.  She tries to be a tough-as-nails Van Hellsing type, but falls short of such a feat and is reduced to an unnecessary love interest for Evan. Despite the handful of characters being a mixture from badly initiated love interest to the superbly developed protagonist, the art from Damiian Coucerio is still the weakest point of the issue.  The only really enjoyable artwork was during the opening scenes with the perfectly drawn wolf being the best feature.  The colors from Stephen Downer were what truly made the opening sequence have an even more eerie feel to it, with the vague mist a perfect atmospheric touch to the scene.  After this almost perfect setting we were thrust back into the city with a noticeable lack of atmosphere and detail scarcely given to the background.  Most of the characters had too many lines.  In one scene with Marta at a side view her nose could match lengths with Pinoccio’s. I can not say I have yet become a devoted Busiek fan.  There are still many problems, if seemingly minor, that need to be improved upon.  The artwork was pretty weak, noticeable more than ever after a great opening sequence.  This is definitely still one of the best vampire titles today and many old school vampire fans will enjoy the obscure references to the older realm of vampires.  The characters still need a lot of work but the subtle humor shouldn’t be changed, oddly working in perfectly with the sometimes eerie atmosphere.  I can’t say I’m looking as forward to Dracula: The Company of Monsters #10 as much as the next issue of the new vampire title Undying Love, if the next issue has as much power as the first portion of this one, I will be thoroughly impressed. Overall Score – 7.5/10 *Great for old school vampire fans*    


Meet the Author

About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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