Universal Monsters: Dracula #1 Review: A Hell Of A First Issue

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James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds take on the most infamous monster of all time in Skybound‘s Universal Monsters: Dracula #1.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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Universal Monsters: Dracula #1 Review:

The team from The Department of Truth is back, this time with some total lies. Just kidding, but this new miniseries does take on the original Universal Monster Movie, Dracula, and gives us a new tale of the vampire King, Renfield, and all the others.

“This is a perfect team to tackle this book,” host Alex Zalben said, kicking off the discussion. And while he loved James Tynion IV’s writing, “The real standout here in my mind is Martin Simmonds art. The way that he draws Renfield in particular is just like this white, pale wash…. And Dracula is this panel and page-filling black and red demon. It’s a gorgeous book.”

Justin Tyler concurred and posited that Tynion is “leaving space for Martin Simmonds’ art throughout… It’s clearly written for him.” On the story side, Tyler noted that the Universal Monsters have “not been doing so hot in our media, whether it’s film or TV, they just haven’t found a way to make these work.” The comic, however, “makes total sense.” He added that the book is “scary” and “cool,” and “eases you into [the story] without being like, look, another vampire… It’s really smart.”

Pete LePage seemed a little more hesitant calling the story a “slow burn,” but did agree that the art style is “really bold and different looking.” However, he did like starting with Renfield instead of Dracula, as “it’s such a great job of building up what’s to come… This is a hell of a first issue.”

Universal Monsters: Dracula #1 Official Synopsis:

THE BIGGEST NAMES IN COMICS RESURRECT THE MOST ICONIC MONSTERS! THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH creators JAMES TYNION IV (W0RLDTR33, Something is Killing the Children) and MARTIN SIMMONDS reteam to tell a new tale of the monster who started it all! When Dr. John Seward admits a strange new patient into his asylum, the madman tells stories of a demon who has taken residence next door. But as Dr. Seward attempts to apply logic to the impossible…his surrogate daughter Lucy begins to fall under the spell of the twisted Count Dracula!

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