Through the Ruins of Ravencroft miniseries, writer Frank Tieri has been adding layers to the iconic Marvel institution. The series has focused on the concept that to look towards the future one has to know the past. And, while we’ve waited for Ravencroft’s future, we get to know its mysterious past. Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1 does exactly that folding in Dracula, Loki, and more into its history.
Though an intriguing issue, this chapter is the weakest of the bunch. We learn that Dracula is involved with the asylum using it for experiments in an agreement with the United States government. The concept is an interesting one but it never quite “makes its case.” The idea of the US making shady deals during the World War II time period, there’s not enough details as to why this deal is happening. Instead, the focus is on Captain America and Bucky stumbling on the situation to free a fellow soldier. If there was more of a focus on that emotional thread or the horrors happening within, the comic would be stronger. But, the issue feels like it attempts to have both without focusing enough on either.
The inclusion of even more characters, while others are set to the side, doesn’t help matters. The inclusion and exclusion feels a bit out of left field and jarring.
The issue also looks towards the future with a twist at the end. That will have major ramifications on the upcoming series taking place in Ravencroft. One of the bigger details is what happened to Ravencroft revealing his fate.
Angel Unzueta handles the modern segments on art while Stefano Landini handles the flashbacks. Rachelle Rosenberg provides the colors. The flashback sequences are much stronger artwise for the comic. Rosenberg’s color gives the sequence a worn “old” look with a focus on a palette and style that’s a bit aged. Like past issues the art does an interesting job of throwing out some things the text doesn’t which should interest and excite hardcover Marvel fans. The art doesn’t quite deliver the horror the issue should feature. There’s never a moment where it really sinks in as to what’s being down visually. The experiments are there but it’s missing something to really punch the reader.
Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1 ends the series on a low note but like past issues it does a good job of fleshing out the history. It’s better as a piece of the miniseries and it sets up the upcoming series nicely. This is for those who have been reading up to this point but new readers might want to wait for the trade.
Story: Frank Tieri Art: Angel Unzueta, Stefano Landini
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review