Comic Review – “Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 1”

That’s another Essential volume reviewed and out of the
way. Next up: Essential Howard the Duck Vol.
(which I just bought but haven’t started reading yet,
so don’t be surprised if it takes a month to get through.)

General Information

Title: Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 1

Author: Marv Wolfman and others

Illustrator(s): Gene Colan and others

Original Publication Date: Oct. 29, 2003 reprint of material
published from 1972 to 1974.

ISBN: 0-7851-0920-X

Cover Price: $14.99 US, $24.00 Can

Buy from:


Dracula has returned, and he’s living in the Marvel
Universe (although
he doesn’t interact with any other characters in this
volume, apart
from Werewolf by Night.)

This contains Tomb of Dracula #1-25,
Werewolf by Night
#15 (to finish a cross-over) and Giant-Sized
(although the latter is probably incomplete; there’s a 24
page Dracula
story in it, but that’s not giant-sized at all.)

High Point

The heroes change from issue to issue, while the villain
constant. It’s a nice change.

Low Point

Cliffhangers from Chillers #1 were resolved in
the issue that
preceeded it, just for the sake of advertising it before it was

The Scores

A comic about the villain is a fairly original
idea. Just
about everything else is standard vampire lore. I give it 4
out of

The artwork by Gene Colan was very good. I
tend to find his
superhero work overly shaded, but that really works for this
title. I
give it 5 out of 6, hurt only by some poor reproductions.

The stories were told as an ongoing saga, with
a variety of
heroes moving in and out of the spotlight. It’s definitely a
comic rather than a superhero comic, but it gets a little
I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterizations were always clear but
never deep. Taj
starts getting interesting at the end of the volume, but
everyone else
is little more than they first appear to be. I give it 3 out of

The emotional response this produced was
mild. Very few
vampire stories actually do anything new with them, and
this one
doesn’t. I wasn’t really interested until Blade showed up,
and that’s
because he’s tied to other characters that I’m already
interested in.
I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow is exceptional. The flashbacks have
a wavering
outline on the panels, and the speech balloons will often
come out of
another panel entirely during the narrations. It’s a very
way to set things up, and it works extremely well. I give it 6
out of

Overall, it’s a neat little Halloween book, but I
recommend it to non-horror fans. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Essential Tomb Of Dracula Vol. 1
receives 29 out of 42.