Publisher’s Summary: “The legend of Vlad the Impaler is the stuff of nightmares. The inspiration for the most iconic of monsters—Dracula—Vlad tortured and murdered thousands of victims. But what turned him into such a depraved killer? The truth lies in his teenage years, when Vlad and his brother Radu were held hostage by the Ottoman Empire. During this time, the brothers learned many things—archery, riding, the art of combat, matters of court…and how to stalk and slay vampires.
“From writer Cullen Bunn (DARK ARK, UNHOLY GRAIL, X-Men Blue, Deadpool, Venom) and artist Mirko Colak (UNHOLY GRAIL,The Punisher) comes a tale of brothers and blood that HAD to be told at AfterShock Comics.”
Targoviste. 1462. Brothers Dracul #1 opens with a gruesome, blood-soaked scene that immediately sets a grim tone while also simultaneously establishes the book’s no-nonsense pace. Following this brief but intense opening scene, brothers Radu and Vlad reunite, presumably after a lengthy period of time, and quickly it becomes obvious not only that readers are in for an epic dread-filled ride, but also that there are reasons why men become monsters and that at least one–if not several–of these reasons is going to be explored throughout the series.
With natural sounding dialogue that is as sharp as it is telling, writer Cullen Bunn (X-Men: Blue) immediately captures readers with captivating prose and once he has them in his grasp, drags them to the very depths of the Brother Dracul story; once there, Bunn sets readers on a path paved in pain and misfortune on a journey that promises to excite and satisfy as much as it will addle and disturb.
Visually, Brothers Dracul #1 is stunning; its look is unique and with incredible detail packed into each panel, illustrator Mirko Colak (The Punisher) gives readers good reason to spend some added time eyeing over each page. And while the blood and gore-filled scenes are the most most visually satisfying, as one would hope in a title like this, Colak’s character and expressions work is emotional and explicative and ultimately succeeds in complementing Cullen Bunn’s script by working in tangent with it to create a fully immersive reading experience.
Brothers Dracul #1 succeeds as a first issue by generating interest and intrigue, and the book’s unnerving final page leads me to believe that the story is primed to explode with action and intensity within the next issue or two.
The Bottom Line:
A historical tale that is written in blood and sealed in terror, the Brothers Dracul source material is legendary and if it is handled properly, as I am sure that it will be, the story of Vlad the Impaler is ideal for a serialized graphic-heavy re-imagining like the Brothers Dracul. If you are considering reading this series, I urge you to do so; Issue #1 is being released on April 11th, and it’s certainly one not to miss.