Published on March 15th, 2017 | by Kevin Given0
Review: Anno Dracula: 1895 Seven Days of Mayhem #1
What an intriguing concept. After all, what else can be done with the prince of darkness? Beginning in 1897 he’s been the star of hundreds of novels, comic books, movies and television series. Many might believe that the well has run dry. Numerous attempts to bring him back to life in Television (2013’s Dracula starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers.) Film (2014’s Dracula Untold) and literature (2009 Dacre Stoker’s Dracula the Undead,) have been less than successful. Perhaps his legacy would best be left to historical successes. Can anyone bring new meaning into the age-old legend?
Well, it seems that Titan Comics can! It’s too early to know if the series will be a success or not, but the story should draw fans of Bram Stoker as well as new curiosity seekers. The Council of the Seven Days is a winner for sure.
The Creative Team:
Kim Newman barely gives us a glimpse of the father of all vampires in this first issue, which succeeds to keep us guessing as to which interpretation of the character she subscribes to. Perhaps he’s going to give us a version that we’ve never seen before. This keeps Dracula a mystery for now, where Newman succeeds is that he has created a series of original characters who have vested interest in the prince of darkness. There are a series of female protagonists and antagonists Katherine Reed, Penelope Churchward, Fah Lo Suee, and Christina Light. He begins the story with a page from the diary of Abraham Van Helsing. In it we read of the possibility of a new breed as spawned by our nefarious nosferatu. We then travel to the Frisian Islands in February of 1895. The story starts at a medium pace as we see character development amongst our lead characters, not just stereotypical horror clichés for characters but great growth and an interesting story arch.
Paul McCaffrey’s renderings are a delight. He captures Victorian England styles and culture in an effective way and his characters all have a glint of twisted glee in their eyes. It’s as if they know what you’re thinking before you do. Some scenes of gore let us know that this isn’t kiddie fare but for a more mature audience.
Kevin Enhart, other than having a great first name, brings the issue to vivid life with his use of colors. His methods are unique for a horror title. No sharp contrasts or heavy ink to convey darkness. Every detail is enhanced by his brilliant palett. A nice change from the average horror comic.
The writing and the art complement each other well. This isn’t your standard comic book arc but something a little bit more. I loved this first issue.
An awesome cover that brings about a vampire feel successfully. The background is blood red with three of our protagonists in the shadow of Dracula, however the shadow is more evocative of Max Schreck in F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu. A great cover that should be added to the collection of every vampire fan.
Kate and the council of seven days are in a meeting, reflecting on their origins. Letting the reader know in detail that Dracula was not welcome when he originally came to seek his bride. It’s the council’s tenth anniversary that is being celebrated and they seem in control of their surroundings when they are interrupted by a negative force which could threaten their very existence. A great climax to an exceptional first issue…to be continued ***1/2 (8.9 rating)
Anno Dracula #1
Writer: Kim Newman
Art: Paul McCaffrey
Colorist: Kevin Enhart
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Titan Comics
Publication Date: March 2017