Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm Sure This is Exactly What Bram Stoker Had in Mind

DRACULA #4 1967 Dell Comics

This…AGGRESSIVELY DULL comic is one half of DELL Comics’ attempt to cash in on the mid-60's superhero craze by hammering square-peg public domain monsters DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN into superhero shaped holes. I could sum it up for you, but I’m sure the introductory caption can explain it better:

Or…maybe not. The narration and dialogue have a tinny, stilted quality to them that’s kind of endearing, but mostly distracting. An EDITOR would have helped. I'm just sayin'.

And it’s BLAND. When this is the most exciting scene your book has to offer:

You’ve got a book that only a stroke victim or multiple heart bypass…haver could truly appreciate. The edge of your seat need not apply.

Anyway, Dracula is trying to clear his name, so he goes to the United States, where he seeks to use his powers to work for peace:

Don’t get too excited, that’s all the punching he does. By the way Dracula’s super power? He turns into a bat. Not just any bat but… well, yeah, just a regular bat. This Dracula, you see, is actually the descendent of the real Dracula, but he doesn’t have ANY VAMPIRE POWERS WHATSOEVER. Which makes him feel pretty fucking useless. So he spends a most of the issue obsessing over perfecting the formula that changes him into his bat form permanently. At no point in the story is bloodsucking mentioned.

From the thrilling Dracula flutters helplessly nearby while B.B. plummets to her death sequence. Dracula kind of sucks.

Oh yeah, he also gets a sidekick:

B.B.Beebe, debutante dare-devillette, who in rapid order: Meets Al, learns his secret, helps him find and install a secret headquarters, drinks his bat-change-into potion, and becomes FLEETA: the girl who lives every little girls dream… by turning into a bat.
I do have to give the credit for making Fleeta a competent, tough character who holds her own in this story.


I feel bad trashing this book too much. Its very crude, but kind of likable in a way. Like people who paint propane tanks to look like cows, I guess.
B.B. gets the last word:

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