- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Marvel Comics (Nov. 10 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 078510920X
- ISBN-13: 978-0785109204
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.8 x 24.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 612 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #894,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Essential Tomb Of Dracula Volume 1 TPB Paperback – Nov 10 2004
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Essential Tomb of Dracula, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 1)
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Volume One of the Essential Tomb of Dracula contains the first 25 issues of the title along with a couple associated issues of Werewolf By Night and Giant-Size Chillers. The star of the book is, of course, Dracula, a vampire with a monstrous ego and the powers to back it up. He is not merely misunderstood (like the Frankenstein Monster) or unable to control his powers (like the Werewolf). He is out-and-out evil, relishing the violent death he dispenses. In Issue #1, he is safely staked, but that is soon rectified when his descendent Frank Drake comes to claim Castle Dracula. Drake's duplicitous friend pulls out the stake and is rewarded by being enslaved by the Count. After Drake is forced to kill his newly vampiric girlfriend, he is quite despondent until he is brought into the fold of Dracula's hunters.
These hunters include Rachel van Helsing and Quincy Harker, both descendants of characters from Bram Stoker's novel. They are assisted by the mute Indian Taj and later by Blade the Vampire Killer. The stories deal primarily with the hunter-and-prey relationship between this group and Dracula, with both groups serving in both roles. Soon another villain will come into the mix, the mysterious Dr. Sun, whose own schemes seek to eliminate both sides. Dr. Sun's first story arc is in this volume, with a more significant arc in Volume 2 (which I had actually read first).
With writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan responsible for most of the issues in Tomb Dracula's run, there is a pleasant consistency in quality that often evades other works. This is a story with little in the way of superheroics (Blade is around as close as it gets, and even he is strictly human); instead, this is a chronicle of supernatural horror. If this is a genre you enjoy, Tomb of Dracula is the best in the comics field.
Often times these heroes also tend to be involved in some korny romance that never in actuality goes anyplace. Not so in Dracula!
Now while reading stories like these is a load of fun, there are moments when we need other things also. Dracula is perfect for that. Though it may be difficult for some to believe that Marvel could actually pull of a Horror title. It was for me. When we think of Marvel, we usually DO think of those above-mentioned happy-go-lucky characters whose lives are cake. Dracula is for those who crave the opposite! A super powered character that actually has problems and faces real challenges. Something Stan Lee alone could never concieve of.
But yes, what we have here is horror at its finest. A perfect continuation from where Bram Stoker left off. It's told so well too. Dracula's descendant Frank Drake stumbles upon his tomb. His spiteful friend pulls the stake out of Dracula and he wakes up to unleash his fury on the modern world! Not only that, but he is also much more clever than he was in the original novel. Eventually, Rachel Van Helsing, descendant of DR Van Helsing who originally plunged the stake into Dracula, joins Frank Drake (Drakula, get it?), in order to help him put Dracula back in the Tomb. What's even better here than was in the novel is that Dracula is a HECK of a lot smarter here. In the novel, he just played right into the hands of the good guys. Here, Dracula actually has to think his way out of things, even if it means holding another vampire in front of him. Like when Rachel, Frank, and their assistant Taj corner Dracula in some mansion using the assistance of police aircraft. Dracula has nowhere to escape. What does he do? You won't get it here!
So far, I am not dissapointed with this series. It's just what I needed. It has some well told stories and makes use of great dialogue. It even features a nice education on religious mythos and parts of London. If you get into it enough, you'll actually feel like you're there. It's even got
stories of time travel, dimensional travel, heaven, hell and all things betwixt. Even cooler, Dracula gets a human partner to help him in the form of Clifton Graves, the man who pulled the stake out of him and re-awoke him!--and he was the best friend of Frank Drake, who is pursuing him, which makes for a good plot twist. This is awesomeness at its finest! I didn't think Marvel could pull it off, but they did. The best part though... it can be read in and of itself. In other words it can exist seperately from the Marvel Universe. It can be like Ann Rice, who we sometimes like to think of the vampires in HER books being in our own world. The same holds true here--we can take it as being a part of the Marvel Universe or in a reality in and of itself.
But beware, it gets brutal sometimes, so it's certainly not for the too sqeemish. In essence, this series is good for those of us who are tired of those usual routine comic book characters who spend their time kissing the behinds of various females in distress. Dracula, rather than kiss them, feeds them to the rats! And the artwork is awesome even without the color. How can you go wrong?