Monday, June 11, 2012
Review - Dracula World Order: The Beginning
Brill liked his idea so much that he called in a slew of artistic talent for the one-shot. Tonci Zonjic, Rahsan Ekedal, Declan Shalvey and Gabriel Hardman each get artistic responsibilities for their own chapters. Stephen Downer and Jorie Bellaire assist on colors, with Josh Krach lettering and covers by Shalvey and Bellaire.
Dracula World Order: The Beginning is broken into four chapters, but it's really one continuous story. Alexandru is the son of Dracula and he's not quite a chip off the old block. In fact, he hates his father for everything he stands for and how he makes people suffer.
To that end, Alexandru is seeking to recruit a team that will take on Dracula and, hopefully, rid the world of the top of the 1%. Those recruited include Vincent Macready, the last of the great vampire hunters, Pham Phuong Mai, a woman changed beyond her will and Frankenstein's monster.
Brill's concept is very sound. Making Dracula seek to turn the 1% into vampires makes sense on multiple levels. A lot of people view the wealthy as vampires anyway, so it's only natural that they're conveyed as such here. And because this is one continuous story, the fact that each of the four chapters has its own artist isn't to distracting.
What's a little unfortunate is that because this is a one-shot, the story doesn't fully realize it's potential. Brill intended it as such, but it sucks for the reader because the 99% idea is overshadowed by Alexandru recruiting. It's certainly not bad writing or a bad story. It just feels incomplete.
The art. Zonjic's chapter focuses on Vincent Macready and he uses color tones to great effect. The chapter escalates from start to finish and the reader can feel the intensity rise along with the drastic color changes. It really works and sets the standard for the rest of the issue.
Ekedal's chapter focuses on Alexandru's past and his relationship with his mother. It's a great character building chapter and also establishes the 99% storyline. Ekedal gets to have some fun with vampire scorchings and does it with good effect. Downer's colors really accentuate the work as well.
Shalvey's chapter has a pulpy feel to it, tackling the transformation of Pham Phuong Mai. Pham's vengeance is depicted in quite the gory detail. Bellaire's use of green and red color tones really present this dichotomy of serenity and rage.
The final chapter features the art of Hardman. Hardman really seems to tap into his inner Bernie Wrightson, as his depiction of Frankenstein's monster has the old, pulp monster feel to him. Dracula gets more time to shine as Dracula in this chapter and Hardman handles him well.
The one-shot is a great introduction to the world Brill is creating. It is a one-shot and, again, the story's pacing suffers as a result. It's a great story and if the only complaint is wanting more that's got to be the sign of something great right?
Dracula World Order: The Beginning is in stores now.