Source: Comics Bulletin
Reviewer: Paul Brian McCoy
Rating: 3 1/2 bullets
“Extended and Dangerous”
Sword of Dracula returns with a one-shot story that expands a 10 page Vampirella crossover from Vampirella Magazine into a full length adventure that, if you’re familiar with Sword of Dracula, should make you feel right at home. If you’re not familiar with the title, it would be worth your while to check out the “Volume One” trade that collects the first 6 issue mini-series from a few years ago. In a nutshell, Veronica “Ronnie” Van Helsing runs The Polidorium, “a Mission Impossible-style organization” who’s main goal is to hunt down notorious international terrorist, Dracula. But this isn’t your garden-variety Dracula. Henderson came up with a very interesting twist for this incarnation. Dracula can control blood, using it as a weapon, which we see happening very quickly in this new story.
This time around, Ronnie is trying to capture a vampire who used to work for a new “Big Bad”, The Curator. This vampire has information that the Polidorium wants, as does Dracula. As it turns out, Vampirella has an interest in him as well. Thus a crossover is born.
I don’t know much about Vampirella. Practically nothing, to be honest. She’s an alien vampire who runs around mostly naked all the time. That’s it. According to Wikipedia, she’s a White Hat vampire who doesn’t suffer from traditional vampire weaknesses, she rarely feeds on people, and she fights evil vampires. Even though I knew nothing about her, you can bet that I knew what she looked like. Who doesn’t? That red dental floss costume of hers is more famous than the character herself (to those of us on the outside of the Vampirella fan cult that exists out there — Hi, gang!). With that said, don’t go looking for the costume beyond the cover art. Inside, she’s riding around on a motorcycle with a sexy black leather look that I like a lot.
So what’s she actually doing here? That would be telling, and this is an advanced review. I’ll just say that she and Ronnie have a history, and ‘Ella (as Ronnie calls her) has her own reasons for trying to get her hands on The Curator’s former employee. Not being familiar with her character, I’m at a bit of a loss when it comes to this motivation, and if you read the shorter version of this in Vampirella Magazine numbers 8 and 9, you probably have a better idea what’s going on there than I do. But that doesn’t take away from the rest of the story.
As with the original miniseries, there’s plenty of action and intrigue that, while not embarrassed to stick to traditional action plot clichés, keeps the story moving. There’s a very interesting reveal on the final page, as we learn who The Curator is, and they may be playing a big role in the upcoming Dracula War miniseries, due this summer. Anyway, the situations and characters keep the story fresh enough to warrant some excitement and the art is very nice. Did I mention that Greg Scott is back?
Scott started the original mini, but didn’t finish it, and if there’s any criticism to be made of that first outing, it falls on the replacement artists. Scott set a pretty high standard that the other artists didn’t, or maybe couldn’t, live up to. If you like the look of Daredevil over the past 6 or 7 years, you should definitely take a look at this. There are lots of heavy shadows and very realistic, photo-referenced characters and designs, but rarely does it seem stiff and posed. You can very easily imagine it playing out on a movie screen.
So if you like espionage and action along with your vampiric violence, this is the book for you. It’s a good introduction to the world of Sword of Dracula if you aren’t already familiar with it, and if you are, it’s a welcome return to form all around. I’m getting excited about The Dracula War already.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.