Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Frank Frazetta’s Dracula Meets the Wolfman
Niles & Francavilla
The latest installment from the Frazetta line has us visit some familiar characters: Dracula and the Wolfman. True to much of the Frazetta line, the story takes a backseat here as the reader is supposed to kick back and enjoy the visuals. Generally, for a one shot, this issue delivers a good fight but not a ton of story to remember.
The bulk of the comic is set in 1849 in Moldavia, just west of Transylvania. As you may expect from movies or TV, the setting is dark and ugly. The land just looks like demons stalk it. The issue opens with some young love. A shy girl and an even shier boy gaze at each other from the woods and their farm. It’s sweet. Then the moon comes out and the boy turns into a Wolfman. He could have attacked his young love, but instead he runs off in a rage when he watches her get ready for a date.
The girl has been fixed up with the local count, who is rich and will solve the family’s poverty. Then comes something odd. The Wolfman’s family tries to capture him to prevent him from killing someone. It’s interesting that so many of his close family and friends would be aware of his problem. It’s an interesting twist.
The creepy count shows his true hand with the girl as he looks to gnaw on her neck and in busts Wolfman. It’s not clear who freed the Wolfman, but the rumble is under way.
The fight lasts for about ten pages and it is fairly graphic. The artwork gives you some excellent visuals, but the backgrounds aren’t very clear. I’m not sure how they end up outside or where they are at times. They seem to be near a cliff, but also in a graveyard. In any event, the battle ends with a very unique surprise. It’s really good for a battle of titans. Although, you’d expect more biting from two with so much fangs I suppose.
The issue ends with some jump forward in time. It allows some sort of universe to be built around this particular issue. It’s a good ending.
The artwork has huge positives. First of all, I love the retro feel. I usually prefer color, but this just screamed out Bela Lugosi or Lon Chaney. Second, the depictions of Wolfman and Dracula are scary as hell. Lastly, the gore isn’t held back, but it isn’t highlighted either. As mentioned above, the fight did leave me a little lost as to where the characters were.
If you like Wolfman, Dracula, Frazetta or old monster movies then this is a must read. While, the fight takes center stage and sacrifices the story somewhat, this issue entertained me nonetheless. I’d like see this grow from here a bit. This one shot is good start, but I think more can be made from it in the future.
3.5 out of 5 geek goggles