CULT OF DRACULA #1
Writer: Rich Davis
Artist: Henry Martinez
Colorist: Trevor Richardson
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Editor: Amber Davis
Publisher: Second Sight Publishing
Cover price: $2.99
Release date: September 21, 2020
“If you think all the bite has been drained out of vampires, think again! You haven’t read Cult of Dracula from Second Sight Publishing yet!” – Wayne Hall from Major Spoilers
HORROR IN A MYSTERY
When Cult of Dracula opens, something seriously bad has already taken place. Dead bodies can be found inside a rural church and the buildings nearby. CSi is all over looking for clues, and Special Agent Malcolm Bram is with them as he is trying to find out just who did what. This event has already been dubbed by the media as the “Cult of Dracula Mass Suicides.”
We have a sense that he’s not going to like the answers he finds.
The title of this series is a very important clue to what we’re going to discover as the mystery unfolds. It’s the cult that we’ll be exploring much more likely than Dracula himself. And vampire myths from all over the world tend to focus on a dark woman who steals children to devour their blood. Now THAT is the scary stuff to me!
While Bram himself is a new character created by the author, the other people are re-imaginings from the original Bram Stoker novel. Abraham Van Helsing is a defrocked Eastern Orthodox priest turned college professor. Together with graduate students Mina Murray and Jonathan Harker, they make up a documentary crew working on a film about Robert Renfield, the cult’s enigmatic guru and leader. We’ve seen the gruesome results, so the book flashes back to find out just how we go there.
You’d never know this was Rich Davis’ first comic from the way he’s constructed the characters the unfolding of the plot. Granted, this story is based on a screenplay he put together, but this book grabs you by the short and curlies right from the very beginning and doesn’t let you go. The dialogue is gripping, and the story unfolds in a powerful way.
Rather than being just the screaming victims in this tale of horror, the women and girls often play pivotal roles in the story. Mina has something going on that we begin to discover, and I’m sure she’ll be critical to how things happen.
I also liked the more current feel to the setting, including the appearance of CSi as well as a film crew investigating a cult. I always wondered why people want to know more about these groups when I’d rather run in the opposite direction. Given how this issue started, I just may have been the wise one when it comes to dealing with the cult.
Things move along in the perfect pace of a horror story, with things happening that you just can’t take your eyes off, much like the filming of an auto accident. I just can’t turn away even though I wish I could!
The facial expressions are the most important part of this book because they tell us what the individuals are feeling as they move the plot forward. Sometimes they are happy (and not in a good way) while at other points they are grim and even puzzled. I never have to wonder, though, what each person has going on inside, especially the cult leader. His grin is just too creepy!
I also liked the way the people moved, always visually interesting. Even when there is discussion going on, I was always transfixed by what they were doing. A lot of the action in this issue takes place off-camera, but what we see tickles my imagination so strongly that I can see what I figure took place in the style of the artist. Nicely done!
BOTTOM LINE: A DRAMATIC BEGINNING
You know, I’m not usually all the big of a horror or a vampire fan, but I’m hooked! What happened here? Who are these people, and how did they get involved in all this? I have to know! Several friends of mine who are really into horror are just as engrossed as I am!
As I write this, the first issue has already sold out nationwide! A second printing is already in the works, though, with a new cover, so be sure to let your LCS know you want this book!
If you would like to hear my interview with Rich during a recent podcast episode, go to this link. He’s got a lot of intriguing clues about this book and what we might see in the coming issues!