Dracula: The Company of Monsters

Daryl Gregory, Author, Scott Godlewski, Illustrator, Damian Couceiro, Illustrator, Kurt Busiek, Created by
Kurt Busiek, Daryl Gregory, and Damien Couceiro, Boom! (www.boomstudios.com), $12.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-60886-044-9
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
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How do you make Count Dracula scary in the age of Twilight? By getting in touch with the man behind the legend, according to Busiek and Gregory, creators of this intriguing remake. Conrad Barrington, the unscrupulous CEO of a major conglomerate, manipulates his milquetoast nephew, Evan, into using ancient spells to resurrect Vlad III of Walachia, the Romanian hero who inspired the legend of the vampire king. The story is told from the nephew's perspective as he gradually learns the dark arts necessary to control Dracula, eventually coming to sympathize with him. The aristocratic Vlad opposes Conrad's self-serving corporate ambitions, and is characterized as a morally complex character with a strict codeā€”the result is a thought-provoking Dracula that the reader can actually root for. The writers do a good job of contrasting Dracula's 15th-century value system with contemporary culture. Couceiro's colorful if slightly generic artwork serves the narrative well. While there is quite a lot of action in the series, the gore never feels tacked on, even when the expected team of vampire hunters shows up. (Feb.)
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