blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Stoker’s Dracula (2004) #2

Stoker s Dracula  2

Stoker’s Dracula collects and then continues Roy Thomas and Dick Giordano’s seventies novel adaptation, which ran in the black and white horror magazines, Dracula Lives! and Legion of Monsters. Thomas and Giordano only did six entries back then, and since they’ve only got one chapter of new material in this issue… they stopped before they were halfway done.

Fast forward thirty years, and Marvel gets them to finish it.

The cool part of this issue is it’s all the best material. The first issue would have Jonathan Harker getting to Castle Dracula and his discoveries there. This issue is all the England stuff, first from Mina’s perspective, then Seward’s, and now Lucy’s. Giordano excelled at the British Gothic material.

This issue also introduces the mixed media aspect of the novel. There are newspaper accounts, multiple diarists, and Seward’s monologue to his phonograph. Thomas and Giordano’s best work on the adaptation—as was—is in this issue.

So obviously, there are some differences thirty years on. The lettering is digital. Chris Eliopoulos. They lack the energy of the previous entries’ lettering. There are also some typeset newspaper reprints, which come off wrong, including a really bad “Lorem Ipsum” moment.

But the lettering disconnect is nothing compared to the Giordano art disconnect. While Dracula does look quite different than pages (and decades) before—not for the better–Giordano’s overall work is good. He can still do the Gothic good girl art, which is crucial since it’s mostly a Lucy issue.

There’s some hubbub with Seward, but he’s just a plot mechanism, just like all the characters. Thomas brings in Texan Quincy Morris, clean-shaven with sideburns like Giordano didn’t want to do too much work on him.

Giordano did put a lot of work into Stoker’s, but there’s a difference. He’s older and slicker—just like the letters—but the energy’s different. Stoker’s Dracula isn’t adapting the novel to fit Tomb of Dracula; it’s just adapting the novel to match what’s come before.

The new entry’s greatest success is giving Lucy—even temporarily—some agency. She doesn’t do much with it besides write in her diary, but her insight into her situation is very nice. Hopefully, Thomas will find someone else to have good instincts with going forward….

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