You know, Marvel Comics would have you believe that there’s only one Lord of the Vampires…
…but really, there’s like 26.
Yes, his status as a public domain character means that he can be used in pretty much anything, and today on ComicsAlliance, Dracula Week rises from the grave to stalk a new land as I round up my favorite comic book Draculas, ranking them all by how Draculawesome they are!
Marvel Dracula’s in there of course–and ranked near the top for his tireless work in keeping the word “clod” in circulation–alongside Racist Dracula and the ill-fated Super-Hero Dracula, but there’s one version of Big D that sprang to mind that I didn’t include:
The reasons for his non-inclulsion are pretty simple–he only appeared the once in a story that is not very good–but there are a few notable things about him that are still worth mentioning, not the least of which is the pretty awesome Ed McGuinness cover that fools me every time into thinking that this issue is going to be totally awesome:
Unfortunately, this Jeph Loeb/Ian Churchill joint leaves quite a bit to be desired, though to be fair, it’s not entirely their fault. The issue comes from a weird, extremely forgettable time in the Superman books and seems rooted in bridging the previous storyline–the eminently disposable Our Worlds at War crossover–with the then-current buildup for Superman’s battle with one of the many General Zods, who this time ended up being a Russian clone of Superman in a power-suit or something. It was stupid, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re better for it.
Point being, there’s a lot in this comic that detracts from the simple beauty that a story where Superman fights Dracula should’ve had. Not that the stuff is on topic is all that great either: The reveal that the mysterious Count Rominoff is in fact Dracula is played in-story as something of a surprise reveal despite the fact that the cover says “Superman vs. Dracula” in huge letters; Lois refuses to believe in vampires to the point where she tells her husband, the super-powered alien from space who hangs out with a Greek goddess and the king of Atlantis, that he’s being silly to even think of such things; and it builds to a last-page reveal of an all-new, all-different Creature Commandos…
….who were never seen again.
Plus, Lois decides it’s a good idea to dine with foreign dignitaries while wearing a sluttier version of Andre the Giant’s ring attire.
So where’s this allegedly neat idea I mentioned earlier? Well, unlike the Dracula of Red Rain (whose plan amounts to “Fight Batman and see how that works out for me”), this version has an idea that’s not half bad: He’s planning to take advantage of Superman’s weakness to magic to turn him into one of his thralls. Thus, he leads Lois Lane into his clutches by faking a news story, then puts her in danger, counting on Superman to save her because Superman always saves Lois Lane. Then, once that all happens, he hits him with the hypno-eyes.
All in all, not a bad plan. But as Superman is powered by the energy of Earth’s yellow sun, Dracula takes one bite…
…and his head explodes.
I gotta say, I still think that’s a pretty fun idea. It’s just a shame it’s in a story with all the rest of it.