Story: Troy Brownfield
Art: Kewber Baal
What They Say:
The epic meeting between the Prince of Darkness and the Blood Queen continues! When Dracula and Elizabeth come face to face, sparks (and quite possibly, blood) will fly. With their common enemy rising from the Ottoman Empire, will they put aside their differences to fight back, or will they be consumed by their own war? it’s two classic characters in one bold new series from Dynamite!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this series proved to be fun overall, though it was lacking in Blood Queen material for me until the end when Elizabeth made quite the entrance. The bringing together of Dracula and her is definitely something that’s intriguing and while there may be some light fudging of the two properties to do so, having not read Dynamite’s Dracula material, the end result is a solid on and this installment moves it forward well. With most tales of fantasy of this period focusing on the dark and scary men and the cruel women of the time, the pairing of these two beauties is definitely intriguing and there’s a sense of being curious as to what kind of world they could build together, given time and control.
But their personalities are also not ones that allow them to work together well. The first half of the book is a very fun little dance of words between the two as they feel each other out, to see what’s true from the information gained so far and what holes can be poked in each others armor and personalities. Both are strong characters to watch in this form, especially as we see Elizabeth use a more submissive approach to gain what she really wants, but there is that sense between them that they could achieve some big things together. But that together part isn’t going to come easy or without a lot of blood. I do like that there’s some touching upon how Dracula is able to see more of what she is than others have as it adds to his overall mystique, but you can also get a sense of their past and how it colors them with Elizabeth talking about her accomplishments, which he brushes off fairly easily.
With the two forming an alliance of sorts for the moment, seeing Dracula ride off with Damjan to see Ferenc in the field against their mutual enemy is good and bad. The bad comes from Elizabeth being off the book again for the remainder of the issue. The good is between Dracula and Damjan as well as his investigation into how things operate in her world with her subjects, and those that she trains in the blood magic arts. That there’s subterfuge in all of this certainly doesn’t surprise, Elizabeth’s deference made it all too clear she has ulterior motives, but the way it unfolds is quite engaging and fun, and it allows Dracula to reinforce his own position as someone of strength, power and will that will give her a run for her money. While I would have been more intrigued by seeing them working together and advancing their goals, it’ll be fun to see them as separate entities with their own agendas.
Though I went into this book as a Blood Queen fan, I’m definitely becoming a fan of this interpretation of Dracula as well. He’s definitely the right kind of character to bring balance to what Elizabeth offers and can serve as both a wall to her ambitions, forcing her to become something more to overcome them, while also providing a real frustration for him that’s outside of the Ottomans and what they’re doing. The book moves their stories forward having now met and shown just what it is each is capable of, but we also see the start of what the Ottoman wizards will be cooking up to try and deal with both of them, knowing the threat and obstacle they represent. It’s a solid book all around with some sharp dialogue and really solid artwork to bring it all together in an engaging way.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 1st, 2015