Overview

The Complete Dracula #1

Review

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The Complete Dracula #1

Credits

  • Words: Leah Moore and John Reppion
  • Art: Colton Worley
  • Colors: Colton Worley
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: May 19, 2009

Dracula is back and badder than ever…protect your neck!

Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula has been revived for a new audience and a new generation.  Adapted by Leah Moore and John Reppion, this rendition has been painstakingly researched and storyboarded to bring the celebrated novel to life in comic book form.  Dracula Book One compresses the first six chapters of Stoker’s text into 38 pages of chilling suspense. 

In this first episode, we primarily follow Johathan Harker’s diary through his first encounter with Dracula himself.  Harker is requested to help the Count learn to speak English.  Although this invitation was not met with apprehension, Harker begins to have premonitions regarding the danger he may be in.  Our hero eventually realizes that his concerns were not mere fantasy, and that his very existence is threatened. 

This story takes on the very structure of Stoker's version, with the narrative occurring between various diary entries by Harker, correspondence between Lucy Westerna and Harker’s fiancée Mina Murray, and Dr. Seward’s diary.  Each segment of this story cuts back and fourth between the main characters, allowing suspense to cultivate. The impetus behind this story is most certainly Mr. Harker’s relationship with the Count.  Harker finds his threat level jump with every impromptu meeting with Dracula; from Dracula throwing Harker’s shaving mirror out the window to Dracula asking him to write letters home weeks in advance.  The horrific certainty of Harker’s fate is compounded when he meets other vile inhabitants of the castle, all vying to take his life.

Moore and Reppion have put a lot of energy in making sure this adaptation does the novel proud.  The back pages of the comic explain how they decided to break the story up, and which elements they felt were integral to the original story.  It was interesting to see just how much work goes into creating a story, especially when one is working with such a ubiquitous text.  Moore and Reppion have done Stoker proud in this first installment, and readers should look forward to the continuation.

Colton Worley’s art depicts a level of darkness and suspense that propels the reader forward.  His painted frames are stimulating and imaginative.  Worley’s depiction of Dracula climbing down his castle like a lizard speaks volumes, and his ability to capture unique facial expressions is endless.  It is Worley’s art that truly makes this adventure great.

Fans of horror and suspense should read this adaptation, if only to enjoy this timeless story from another perspective.  This book speaks to comic book readers and Dracula fans alike.

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