Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 2 Marvel Essentials Horror Book Review
Featured Book Review: Darkbound
Darkbound is an amazing book. Michaelbrent Collings outdid himself with this book. It is not at all what I thought it would be. I took three nights to finish this book because I stayed up way past my bedtime. Darkbound was so suspenseful that I just kept on reading to…
Horror books Review
500-plus pages of enjoyable Dracula tales from 1970’s-era Marvel, though perhaps not the head-and-shoulders improvement over the tales in “Essential Tomb of Dracula Volume 1” that I was expecting. Plusses include the usual sharp Gene Colon/Tom Palmer artwork and the variety of different genres explored (horror, high adventure, even science fiction). The big minus is the inclusion of several “Giant-Size Tomb of Dracula” tales. This companion magazine to the regular “Tomb of Dracula” title was clearly a training ground for Marvel’s upcoming writers and artists, and it shows. The stories are readable but not much else.
But the good stuff includes a multi-part rematch with the disembodied brain known as Dr. Sun (probably the most unusual comic-book villain ever); a knock-down/drag-out battle between Dracula and Quincy Harker in Harker’s booby-trapped mansion (complete with flying wooden stakes and squirting holy water); and some funny supporting characters who lighten the mood without going overboard doing so.
The volume’s closing tales put it over the top, though: Dracula gets married, and both his motivations and his bride’s in the relationship demonstate subtlety, complexity, and genuine mystery. I’ll need to pick up “Essential Tomb of Dracula Volume 3” to see where that storyline goes, but I’m happy to do so.
But for now, I’d give most of the tales in this book a solid “good”, with a small peppering of “fair” and “very good/excellent” stories rounding out the mix. The thing to remember is, “Tomb of Dracula” was an ongoing title about an out-and-out evil character (subtle character traits aside, writer Marv Wolfman never let readers forget Dracula’s evil nature) and that unusual premise always resulted in stories that were, at the very least, somewhat interesting. And often more than that, as this entertaining reprint collection reminds us.