Tag Archives: dynamite

Mike Carey Takes on the Iconic Barbarella in a New Comic Series

Dynamite Entertainment has announced that Barbarella’s first ever comic series, timed this coming Fall to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the legendary heroine, will feature the writing talents of industry legend Mike Carey. Additionally, Jean-Marc Lofficier – longtime custodian of the Barbarella brand – will join Carey as supervisor on the project.

Created by Jean Claude Forest in 1962, Barbarella was introduced at the heart of the Sexual Revolution, and is forever ingrained in pop culture after Jane Fonda’s unforgettable portrayal in the 1968 film. She was a key figure in the fertile battleground of French comic books and the struggle for sexual freedom in the medium, and has not appeared in a new series since her last appearance in the legendary science fiction publication, Heavy Metal.

Dynamite Entertainment first announced the return of Barbarella to comic books in October of 2016, welcoming the sci-fi icon to their stable of strong female heroines alongside Red Sonja, Vampirella, Sheena, Dejah Thoris (of Warlord of Mars), and more. In addition to original comic book stories, Dynamite can develop Barbarella for other things like art books and 3D figurines.

Dynamite’s New York Comic Con Panels, Signings, Exclusives, and Giveaways!

Dynamite Entertainment has announced their appearance at New York Comic-Con, hosting a panel tonight, Thursday, October 6th. The panel topic is “Dynamite Entertainment: Our Explosive New Comics Of 2017… and Beyond,” and will include special guest panelists representing some of the finest creators of comic book, literature, and role-playing game development.

The time, location, and focus of Dynamite’s panel is below:

Thursday, 10/6/16, 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Room 1A02
Join the Dynamite gang and their star-studded line-up of creative talent for an hour of explosive power! Discover what Dynamite has in store for KISS, Red Sonja, James Bond, Vampirella, Pathfinder, Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman, and much more. The editors and creators at Dynamite will happily share their insider perspective, plus answer all your burning questions! Confirmed guests include the below, with possible additional surprise guests!

Amy Chu KISS, KISS: The Demon, Red Sonja
Benjamin Percy James Bond
Erik Mona Pathfinder: Worldscape
Paul Cornell Vampirella
Joseph Rybandt Executive Editor
Matt Idelson Senior Editor

In addition to the panel on Thursday night, Dynamite will host several creators at their booth (#2129) for limited signing appearances*, including:

  • 10:00am – 11:00am Amy Chu (KISS, KISS: THE DEMON, RED SONJA), signing KISS: THE DEMON cards
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm Fabrice Sapolsky / Fred Pham Chuong, signing INTERTWINED #1
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm David Gonzales / Anthony Gonzales, signing HOMIES #1

FRIDAY, 10/7:

  • 11:00am – 12:00pm Fabrice Sapolsky / Fred Pham Chuong, signing INTERTWINED #1
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm David Gonzales / Anthony Gonzales, signing HOMIES #1
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm Erik Mona, signing PATHFINDER


  • 11:00am – 12:00pm Fabrice Sapolsky / Fred Pham Chuong, signing INTERTWINED #1
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm David Gonzales / Anthony Gonzales, signing HOMIES #1
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm Erik Mona, signing PATHFINDER

SUNDAY, 10/9:

  • 10:00am – 11:00am Amy Chu (KISS, KISS: THE DEMON, RED SONJA), signing KISS: STARCHILD cards

*Please note: Signing times are subject to change.

Dynamite Entertainment is also proud to announce New York Comic-Con exclusive comic books; collectible giveaways (KISS, Vampirella, James Bond, Grumpy Cat, Boo, Bob’s Burgers, and Chaos) not available anywhere else; and Dynamite Editorial portfolio review opportunities. Full details for these special events are below.

NYCC Exclusive Comics:

  • Army of Darkness / Xena: Warrior Princess #1 NYCC Exclusive “Black & White” Variant by Reilly Brown (Limited to 1000 Copies)
  • Betty Boop #1 NYCC Exclusive “Black & White” Variant by Gisele Lagace (Limited to 1000 Copies)
  • Bob’s Burgers #15 NYCC Exclusive Variant by Jack Herzog (Limited to 1000 Copies)
  • Homies #1 NYCC Exclusive Variant by Anthony Gonzales (Limited to 1000 Copies)

NYCC Free Giveaways:

  • KISS: THE DEMON Trading Card, only available on Thursday, 10/6 (kicking off with writer Amy Chu’s 10:00am booth signing)
  • ISS: SPACEMAN Trading Card, only available on Friday, 10/7
  • KISS: CATMAN Trading Card, only available on Saturday, 10/8
  • KISS: STARCHILD Trading Card, only available on Sunday, 10/9 (kicking off with writer Amy Chu’s 10:00am booth signing)
  • Bob’s Burgers Comic Promotional Button
  • Boo: The World’s Cutest Dog Comic Promotional Button
  • Grumpy Cat Comic Promotional Button
  • James Bond Comic Promotional Button
  • Smiley the Psychotic Button Chaos Comics Promotional Button
    Vampirella Comic Promotional Button
  • Dynamite October Promotional Comic Book Preview
  • James Bond Promotional Comic Book Preview
  • King Features Promotional Comic Book Preview


Anthony Marques, a member of Dynamite’s editorial team, will be reviewing portfolios from aspiring comic book artists. The portfolio review period will last one hour daily (except Sunday), beginning at 3:00pm. Interested creators must visit the Dynamite booth in advance to reserve a block of time to sit with Anthony Marques, six total portfolio reviews per day. This takes place at Dynamite Booth #2129.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 20/2/2016

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Kennel_Block_Blues_001_A_MainKennel Block Blues #1 (Boom!) Was a pretty odd comic about an anthromorphic dog living in a state of  half hallucinated reality as he enters prison. It’s good, and  it is worth looking into, but likely more a “wait for the trade” kind of book. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

The Last Contract #2 (Boom!) A comic about a retired hitman getting back into the game long after his retirement, The Last Contract has been a fantastic ride so far, with the eighty-plus year old killer taking no shit from anybody. Well aware of his physical limits, he’s a refreshing change from protagonists that can take on the world with their hands behind their back. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Gutter Magic #2 (IDW) This has got to be one of the most entertaining comics I’ve read in a long time. The art is fantastically detailed without being overly cluttered, and the characters are inhabiting a rich and vibrant world that feels fully formed before you turn the page. Highly, highly recommended. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Deluge #2 Is an indie comic set during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After reading the first issue, I’d actually thought it was just a one shot comic until I saw this. I actually found that the second issue was more enjoyable than the first, and I liked the first issue’s story about an undercover FBI agent infiltrating the New Orleans underworld amidst a layer of corruption from the local police. It’s a solid book that deserves a wider audience than it’ll end up getting. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #8 (Dynamite) I have nothing to say here that hasn’t already been said. A solid comic book that’s well written, well drawn, and above all it’s very, very fun. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Huck04_CvrBHuck #4 (Image) I just… wow. Just wow. Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy it now, or buy the trade. You need to own this.

Black Hood #9 (Dark Circle) Is a solid comic. It’s not my favourite comic from this publisher (that honour belongs to The Fox), but it’s a very good gritty vigilante thriller with a hero who is very much just a man. A decent series that’s worth checking out. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read



Catwoman #49 (DC)* When the Messina/Valentine creative team ended their landmark run of Catwoman as a crime boss I thought Catwoman would go down hill. And while the comic did return to its roots with a far more traditional Catwoman story it’s still a really good comic! It’s a smart, interesting story suspensefully told. The lines are almost delicate and the splash pages pack in far more visual information that you think at first glance. Selina fighting Croc in front of a Nosferatu billboard? That’s cool! And the intrigue is high. I keep reading because it’s quality comics. So should you. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read


Ryan C

American Monster #2 (Aftershock) *: Brian Azzarello and Juan Doe’s journey into the dark underbelly of America’s sleaziest small town continues with some revelations of both the major and minor variety that will serve to suck readers into the web they’re spinning ever deeper. Two issues in, I remain convinced that this has the potential to be Azzarello’s best series since “100 Bullets,” and Doe’s art, while first striking me as being a bit too “cartoonish” for the dark subject matter, is quickly starting to grow on me. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

american monster 2Lucifer #3 (Vertigo) *: The devil went to The Dreaming, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. Oh, and a damn good story — Gaiman-esque myth-spinning anchors one of Holly Black’s two main plot threads while the other, involving a trapped demon on Earth scheming to be set free, is pure Delano-era “Hellblazer.” Combine the two with Lee Garbett’s fun-yet-appropriately-grim artwork and a guest appearance by Matthew the Raven (who just turned up in his human form in the latest issue of “Swamp Thing”) and you’ve got yourself a heck — sorry, hell — of a book here. They say everything old is new again, and after three issues this series is proving that to be absolutely true. Overall: 8  Recommendation: Buy

The Tithe #8 (Image/Top Cow) **: Not a bad extra-length issue from writer Matt Hawkins and artists Rashan Ekedal and Phillip Sevy, but not a great one, either. The problem with the whole “Islamophobia” story arc isn’t that it was poorly done, just that it only had one big revelation in store and it gave that away in the opening installment. After that, we knew exactly where events were headed, and they simply proceeded to go there. It apparently pissed off a handful of right-wing dumbfucks online, though, so points to the creators for at least raising the blood pressure of all the right people. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read.

The Shield #2 (Dark Circle) : Normally I’d say this isn’t a half-bad little issue because, well, it isn’t, but given that the gap between numbers one and two was something like five or six months in length, it should have — perhaps even needed to — return with a big splash, and it didn’t. I’m sure Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig’s script was “in the can” some time ago, but some tinkering around the edges to re-engage readers into the storyline more fully would have been welcome, and the art-by-committee approach with Drew Johnson and Ray Snyder doing the first half of the book and Al Barrionuevo taking over the second half is jarring and messy. Still, we’ve got a Steve Rude painted cover as one of the variants this time out, so how petty am I for bitching about anything? Dark Circle’s been plagued with delays on pretty much all of their titles barring “The Black Hood,” though, so Archie really needs to get their shit together with this line or it will die the same quick death that these characters always seem to bring upon themselves in one decade after another. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read



Bill and Ted Go To Hell#1 (Boom!): we catch up with the Wild Stallyns shortly after their adventures in the Triumphant Return.Colonel Oats and gang of baddies are enroute to Hell , kidnapping Bill And Ted’s buddy, the Grim Reaper, with them. The boys have to call on the help of Rufus and company to rescue him. By issue’s end , there is a bigger plan in play, than either of them expected. Overall:9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Review: Vampirella #13

VampiVol2-13-Cov-A-MayhewDynamite has made its name by resurrecting properties in the public domain or forgotten properties that they acquired for an insignificant amount of money, but of all their properties it is Vampirella that has the closest connection to comics.  Originally she was a B-List or lower character from the 1960s, designed to take advantage of the sexual revolution and a focus on both sci-fi and the supernatural.  Although such a combination might have seemed to have a passing interest, she nonetheless managed to hold on to establish herself as a long running character whose publication history is mostly uninterrupted since her first appearances, due in part to her cult status as a sex symbol and one of comics original bad girls.

There is a problem in her presentation though.  When she originally came on the scene it was during the coming of the silver age, already in place for some and still to come for others, but the method of story telling in the silver age was fitting enough for her character.  There was less continuity, if writers wanted to make up a story which made little sense from what came before, they mostly had the freedom to do so.  The modern medium of comics is somewhat different, less escapism and more serious story telling, but the stories have never really caught up to Vampirella.  Although there has been an attempt to fit her into the modern medium, there has never really been the right momentum to get her there.  The most recent series and the most recent story arc is proof of that.  She is leader of the Kabal, but as a plot device it has been pretty weak, as she travels the world on secret missions for a sect of vampires.

Other parts of these 13 issues have looked like they might be going somewhere else, but have also often stalled, and this final issue with this concept also feels rushed and out of place.  It is too bad because the talent has mostly been there to take the stories to another level, just they have not ever really made it.  Vampirella belongs in comics, but it seems as though a proper home cannot be found for her.  Instead she is just shifted around between somewhat generic stories without ever really finding one that can highlight her as a character.  Perhaps with the end of the Kabal concept the character can find a better direction to be taken in, but for the moment, this was another failed experiment for her.

Story: Nancy A Collins Art: Patrick Berkenkotter  
Story: 6.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review.


Review: Jungle Girl Season 3 #4

JGSea3-04-Cov-A-ChoThe jungle sub-genre of adventure comics is one which doesn’t really have a home in modern culture.  The genre itself can trace its roots back to the stories of Allen Quatermain and his adventures in colonial Africa, but with the passage of time, the continent of Africa (and other locales of the jungle) have lost their allure.  Popular culture has filled in the gaps in people’s knowledge of these places, as National Geographic, nature documentaries and rapid modern travel have made these places a lot more approachable and less otherworldly than they once were.  This offers an interesting challenge to the writers of this series as it attempts to put a jungle girl back into the modern context of comics.

The action in this series picks up exactly where it previously left off.  If there was ever a series in need of the “in the previous issue” blurb it is this one.  Jana’s story in the jungle has gone from the somewhat regular, to the absurd as she is now dealing with underground humanoids, dinosaurs and aliens.  This story tells the remainder of this volume’s story as she must find a way to vanquish all of the threats against her and her allies and for them to come out alive.

This volume of Jungle Girl has been a strange ride.  Read on the surface it might appear to be a confusing collection of characters and influences, but that is exactly the point of the series.  It is not meant to be coherent but rather to pay homage to a variety of different genres, in this case throwing in aliens into the “jungle girl” genre.  Those reading this for a strong central core of story telling will likely be disappointed, but it is not really intended as such, instead focusing on the fun moments of action and not so much worrying about exactly who or what Jana is fighting (cue the dinosaurs and the giant insects.)  At the same time the story ends up being a little bit disorganized, but it is still worth a look for its mashup of comic book history.

Story: Frank Cho and Doug Murray Art: Jack Jadson
Story: 7.7 Art: 7.7 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

The Best Modern Comic Stories of John Carter’s Mars

Though often treated as a hokey anachronism of earlier literature, John Carter is a character that has helped to define modern science fiction.  In terms of inspiration he was little different from many of the earlier science stories, in that his inspiration was that of Mars, a place which many thought was inhabited up until the early 20th century, thanks in part to Percival Lowell semi-scientific theories about the the supposed Martian canals.  Many of the earlier science fiction stories dealt with Mars, and prominent among them were the War of the Worlds and the Martian Chronicles.  The War of the Worlds played on a different kind of fear, one very evident as it was was only 16 years away from the start of the First World War at the time of its publishing.  This inspiration from Mars provided a different plot inspiration as Martians were almost universally seen as uncaring invaders, interested in our world for its resources and not caring much about the inhabitants.  The Martian Chronicles were something very different though.  Although they were not the first kind of story of this type, it was one of the first of them, and it managed to do something which had never been done before, as it combined a medieval kind of inspiration (the fantasy genre didn’t really exist at the time) with science fiction, and thus helped to give birth to the space opera.

marsIn the modern setting though, John Carter feels a bit dated.  We now know that there is no life on Mars, or in the unlikely event that it does exist, that it would be microbes clinging to life in an inhospitable environment.  Equally we know that the literary suppositions about John Carter have little bearing on what his Earth muscles would do in such a place.  Although the weaker gravity would make him super strong in a sense, it would be more like the “super-strength” of a human on the moon as opposed to that of a true superhero, and instead of a graceful killing machine, he would look more like a stumbling giant.

Despite the shortfalls of the original setting and how they relate to the modern reader, the stories themselves have a rich enough setting that there is no reason that they should be so easily written off.  After all there are many combination of fantasy and science fiction, with Star Wars acting as the most impressive example in modern popular culture, with light sabers taking the place of regular swords.  There are even other relatively popular setting such as He-Man which use the same inspiration, so it is not as though John Carter should be treated as much of the anachronism as he gets to be seen as.

That being said though, the stories of John Carter, at least in modern comics have struggled to get a strong footing, where other similar properties have succeeded or even thrived.  The characters have primarily been used by Dynamite in recent years, although as they are all in the public domain, the characters can be published by anyone, as Marvel/Disney did after the John Carter film in 2012.  What defines the characters are the commonality of the scenarios, as they tend to fall into one of two basic story types.  In the first the characters have to defend Helium from an invader, in the second they explore some previously unexplored and unmentioned corner of the planet and they come upon something often bizarre and often deadly.

marsThe first kind of these stories is much more in line with the original works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, as most of his Martian Chronicles detailed the fight for power of the various cities on Mars.  Every subsequent main story has focused on the same as it forms a part of the character’s origin story.  A man haunted by the events of the Civil War on Earth, who comes to terms with war after winning one on Mars.  However, as origin stories can tend to get somewhat repetitive it is hard to highlight one modern story focused around this concept, as most simply are versions of the original of Burroughs.  Instead if one were to look for something a little different in terms of the usual from the “defending Helium” plots, it would be worth checking out the most recent attempt to make John Carter catch in popular culture, in the first story arc of the current John Carter Warlord of Mars.  There are several different small changes to the story here, mostly in that John Carter and Dejah are already in control, and as one of John Carter’s old nemeses from Earth returns to exact revenge.  It is maybe not excellent but it was a fresh take on what is cliche for the characters by this point.

whiteapesThe second kind of story is one which is not foreign to the original source material, but not one which is specifically related.  The discovery of the bizarre and the deadly was always an issue for those in the Martian Chronicles, as john Carter meets the Tharks of Mars before anyone else, but the discovery has generally fed into the invasion theme, as allies are formed to make victory possible.  The exploration of Mars just for the exploration is a relatively new concept, and one which is tied to what is a relatively heavy prevalence of John Carter stories in recent years, especially from the period when both Dejah and John had their own series, and in which material for the stories had to be expanded.  Although these stories end up being a fluffier as the stakes are not as high, sometimes they are pretty engaging.  Probably the best from this inspiration would be Dejah Thoris and the White Apes of Mars.  Dejah’s series was set a few hundred years before the arrival of John Carter, and she got to stand on her own as a hero.  In this miniseries, she is exploring the ruins of a city, only to discover that it is not fully abandoned, rather that it is being inhabited by the White Apes of Mars, a murderous group of bloodthirsty killers.  It combines the claustrophobic setting of Die Hard with the death by death approach of Alien into a pretty fun series.

As a setting and concept, some might argue that Mars is no longer engaging, especially when the comic companies have such rich cosmic settings, and when other franchises such as Star Trek and Star Wars have populated the cosmos with other stories.  However, a little imagination goes a long way to keep the stories of the John Carter and Dejah Thoris alive, and makes them more less of an anachronism and more of typical space heroes.

Review: John Carter Warlord of Mars #8

JCWoM08-Cov-A-BenesThe stories of the Martian Chronicles featuring John Carter and Dejah Thoris generally fall into one of two broad categories.  As the princess of Lower Helium, she is often out into a position where and she and John have to defend Helium from a plot to destabilize it or an all-out invasion.  Conversely there is a second kind of story, one which focuses on the wonders of Mars, a sort-of carte blanche for telling pretty much any kind of story.  Mars is quit a bit smaller than Earth, but it stands to reason that there are a lot of odd corners with odd denizens much like Earth, and many of the stories also deal with this setting.  After the start of the series was so heavy on the first kind of story, with the two heroes stopping an invasion of Helium, it is therefore fitting that the second kind of story is featured in this series now.

With Dejah and John out in the wilderness searching for ruins of temples, there is a menace on the loose.  A creature of the night, this beast attacks for sport instead of for need, and has been terrorizing a small community.  A small family made a stand against the creature, but as the two heroes fly over the territory, all that they find is a burning building, with all of its occupants murdered.  The local leaders are upset that only two have arrived in place of significant forces, although they are at ease to discover that Helium’s heroes are among them.  With the promise to return with troops on the following day, John and Dejah retire for the night, though the night predator has other plans.

This issue is not really special in any way, and its ending even buys into some of the more misogynist trends of the original novels but it is also not really trying to be more.  This is much more like an issue of a 1950s jungle adventure story, except one that is reinvented on Mars.  It is a fun start to the story arc, if not particularly inventive or memorable, and it is worth a look.

Story: Ron Marz and Ian Edginton  Art: Ariel Medel
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Review: Jungle Girl Season 3 #3

JGSea3-03-Cov-A-ChoAlthough the sub-genre of jungle comics is one which has a solid foundation in the golden age of comics, it is also one which is limited in both its appeal and its ability to impress.  In the early golden age when the jungle comics were originally introduced, there was only 7 or 8 decades since when Africa and India were being heavily colonized by the European powers, and without the advent of mass media, there was still very much the feeling of the exotic when it came to these places.  Now further separated from this era in time, and far better able to access these remote areas through all forms of media, there is less place in popular culture for stories featured around the jungle.

It is likely there that the creative team got behind this issue got to this mish-mash of story telling.  Jana’s jungle island is already one which is intersected by other sub-genres, notably the apocryphal dinosaur setting.  Those reading this series at the moment might think that Jungle Girl is even a bit of a misnomer.  The titular series heroine Jana is after all dressed in a black catsuit which would be more at place in an espionage story and her main enemies seem to be some kind of extraterrestrials.  She still has her old enemies, the Dirt People, to deal with, but there is definitely a bit of science fiction mixed into this jungle fantasy.

While the mish-mash of genres doesn’t seem like it would produce anything of note, it actually manages to do so.  Conversely it is not as though this is amazing story telling or a gripping plot, but it contains pretty much what one would expect out of a series called Jungle Girl, a cool heroine embroiled in adventure, and in the case of this series, with a heavy dose of humor thrown in.  That the story doesn’t necessarily follow a jungle story line makes the title of the series a bit of a misnomer, but it doesn’t make the series any less fun.

Story: Frank Cho and Doug Murray Art: Jack Jadson
Story: 7.7 Art: 7.7 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Review: Blood Queen vs. Dracula #4

bqvd004Although full of potential, this series has mostly been a non-starter to this point.  It features one of history’s and literature’s greatest criminals against a character that was created for Dynamite just over a year ago.  While the pedigree of the characters is far off, the powers are not and so this series might have seemed like a solid idea heading in.  Immediately though there was a huge discrepancy in the portrayal of the characters, as Dracula essentially did as he wished and as Elizabeth, the blood queen, struggled to compete with him at her every deceptive turn.  Her previous ploys were met with easily by the dark lord and this entire series might have seemed almost pointless at some points, using a high profile character to raise the awareness of another lesser known one.

Throughout the series the focus has been mostly on Elizabeth.  As a player trying to establish herself in mid-Medieval times in Eastern Europe, she planned to remove Dracula from those that she had to deal with, as an early alliance turned into betrayal.  Although this could be a fairly generic fantasy setting it was given a bit of extra grounding in reality with the incorporation of the marching Ottoman army, eager to make up ground lost to the prince of darkness.  The three destined to a final battle and this final issue has it.

This series being from an independent publisher, it doesn’t really have the chance to catch up in later issues as if it didn’t catch readers in the first issue then it was likely going to be ignored.  In this case it is too bad as this final issue represents the best of the series.  Dracula and the Blood Queen finally square off against each other, and while she proved unable to deal with him on a tactical level through subterfuge, the two are at least relatively well matched in personal battle.  So too does the dialogue finally meet somewhat what is expected from this series, as the two strong characters finally converse on equal terms.  As the Ottomans finally arrive the ending to the series might seem a bit too obvious, which is a minor letdown, but overall this was the best issue of the series.

Story: Troy Brownfield  Art: Kewber Baal  
Story: 7.9 Art: 7.9 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite Provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review.   

Review: Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #3

BQvsDrac03-Cov-A-AnacletoFrom its very beginning this did not seem like a fair fight.  On the one hand is a relatively new character introduced into a fantasy realm, and on the other hand one of history’s and literature’s most fearsome villains.  Though various versions of the character of Dracula exist, from the mostly historical version to embellished versions of him in unconventional genres, be that in X-Men comics or fighting Billy the Kid in 1960s B-movies.  He is an easy character to cheer against, as he is the embodiment of pure evil.  The problem with this series has not been his evil, but that of Elizabeth the Blood Queen.  Even against the evil of Dracula she is not really a sympathetic character, with her own designs for conquest and power, in this case going directly through the famous famous vampire.

This third issue picks up in the wake of the failed assassination attempt by Elizabeth’s men against Dracula.  While there are a few potential directions in which this could have gone, the one taken here is novel enough, as Elizabeth is faced with a sequence of her own entourage, who are either acting as undead messengers for their new lord, or straight out trying to kill Elizabeth themselves.  Some of these encounters end quickly and others are drawn out.  As Elizabeth deals them a true death oen after the other, it sets the stage for her showdown with Dracula himself, carefully hovering in the shadows until he is ready to strike.

While the approach is interesting enough, there is also not as much to keep the reader interested.  This ends up being simply a sequence of one on one melees, most of which end quickly and in relatively similar ways.  Of course, this issues sets up the series for what is undoubtedly the sole concrete concept in the entire series, and that is to face off the two eponymous characters against each other.  In that, this issue succeeds in thrusting them together, but equally it leaves the impression that this alone is not sufficient enough to base a short series around.  Perhaps there are greater plans for the series which involve the occasionally-seen Ottomans, but after this issue the series seems to be more forgettable than it had been previously.

Story: Troy Brownfield  Art: Kewber Baal  
Story: 7.2 Art: 7.2 Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Pass

Dynamite Provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review.   


« Older Entries