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"Cult of Dracula #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Second Sight Publishing

article-cover

Written by Rich Davis
Illustrated by Henry Martinez
Colored by Trevor Richardson
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
2020, 32 Pages, $2.99

Review:

Decades later, Bram Stoker's Dracula continues to influence and inspire new stories. Cult of Dracula takes the seeds planted by Stoker all those years ago and takes them to the US where a horrific murder scene at a church is investigated by the news, the police, and some local weirdos.

Cult of Dracula #1 immediately sets the stakes in its opening pages and they're pretty high. You quickly understand just how bloody and unsettling these killings were. Artist Henry Martinez does the heavy lifting here with these pages, shown without a single piece of dialogue. We see a detective walking through the scene with a horrified look on his face as each step brings more disturbing death and bloodshed.

While the stage is set, the characters are still catching up. Writer Rich Davis makes sure that each person is introduced, but we only get the bare minimum from them, so there's not a lot to be invested with just yet. There's no hook with the characters for us to really identify with. They all seem drawn to this place, albeit for different reasons, yet we're not sure as to why or what they're looking to accomplish, aside from maybe the TV reporters.

One character in particular is rather unsettling, the scarred man called “Papa”, who comes across as a cult leader. He goes on a bit of a rant, expertly lettered by Ed Dukeshire to convey his raw emotion and creepy nature. Of everyone in Cult of Dracula, he's the most disturbing.

After a dynamite opening, Cult of Dracula treads water for a bit. The remaining pages carry a certain amount of dread, aided by colorist Trevor Richardson's work. The sun is setting on this scene, creating fire in the sky with oranges and yellows, contrasting with shadows on the ground creating an ominous tone.

Cult of Dracula introduces some interesting ideas, although they don't quite come together in this debut issue. Obviously, it's laying some groundwork for the rest of the series, however it's unclear as to what this is trying to achieve. For example, if you didn't know up front that this is pulling from Bram Stoker's Dracula, you wouldn't know it. There's no reference to it or even vampires for that matter, so it misses the mark.

Grades:

Story: twostars Cover

Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 2.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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