Friday, December 21, 2012

Blogging Marvel’s Dracula Lives - Part Two

Dracula Lives was Marvel’s companion black and white companion title to the award-winning Tomb of Dracula monthly comic. As a magazine, Dracula Lives was exempt from the strictures of the Comic Code Authority allowing for more violence and adult themes than would have been possible in the comic at the time. Issue #8 gets underway with Doug Moench’s “Last Walk on the Night Side,” a two-part gritty urban police drama with a cop on the verge of retirement who runs afoul of Dracula. The shock ending where the officer returns home to discover Dracula has taken his revenge on him by attacking his wife is startling. Tony DeZuniga’s artwork is first-rate throughout. Len Wein’s “The Black Hand of Death” continues the gritty urban feel with a Roaring Twenties tale of gangsters in Rome. Gene Colan’s artwork lends immediate authenticity by providing stylistic continuity with the monthly series. Chris Claremont’s “Child of the Storm” is a lengthy text piece. I had forgotten how these were such a fixture of the magazine. Dracula works surprisingly well as a pulp character and these stories prove that the thread between pulps and comics runs deeper than superheroes. The fourth chapter of Roy Thomas and Dick Giordano’s faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic rounds out the issue. This chapter has the infamous portrayal of Dracula as a baby snatcher who feeds the stolen infant to his blood-starved wives with the promise they can have Harker once he is finished with him. Jonathan makes a valiant, but unsuccessful effort to slay Dracula while he sleeps in his coffin during the day. The chapter ends with Harker despairing that he has failed to prevent the plague of the vampire from spreading to England. He knows he will never see his beloved Mina again as he awaits the fall of night not knowing if this is the night he will meet his death at the hands of Dracula’s brides. TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE VISIT THE BLACK GATE ON FRIDAY.

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