Brothers Dracul #2 Review: A Fine Mixture of Character Drama and Horror

Brothers Dracul #2
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Summary
Writer: Cullen Bunn, Artist: Mirko Colak, Color Artist: Maria Santaolalla, Letters: Simon Bowland, Cover by: Mirko Colak and Maria Santaolalla, Logo Designer: Jared K. Fletcher, Production: Charles Pritchett, Editor: Mike Marts, Publisher: AfterShock, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

The Brothers Dracul and Mehmet come face to face with a Vampir in the cave. Mehmet flinches, but Vlad charges in with his spear. The three young men narrowly survive the experience, but the Brothers Dracul, understandably, want answers upon returning to the sultan’s fortress.

Brothers Dracul #2 cover by Mirko Colak and Maria Santaolalla
Brothers Dracul #2 cover by Mirko Colak and Maria Santaolalla

Brothers Dracul #2 embraces the horror with the first scene of the comic. The encounter between Vlad, Mehmet, Radu, and the Vampir is a scene dripping with intensity and tactile brutality. There is no intuiting a weakness or masterful swordplay; it’s just a bloody struggle to survive between two parties.

The following character drama back at the sultan’s castle is compelling. Radu confronts one of the military officers to figure out why all this happened. Vlad simply tries not to have a nervous breakdown. Mehmet comes to grips with his own inadequacy during the fight.

The first issue disappointed me somewhat with its sidetracking of what, at first glance, seemed to be a straightforward historical fiction by injecting it with the predictable vampiric elements that now accompany the legend of Vlad the Impaler. Brothers Dracul #2 asks why we can’t have a bit of both, and I’m willing to grant that it’s ability to balance the two is an enjoyable thing to experience.

Brothers Dracul #2 art by Mirko Colak and Maria Santaolalla
Brothers Dracul #2 art by Mirko Colak and Maria Santaolalla

Mirko Colak once more proves his ability to depict gore and atrocity with aplomb. The action scene with the Vampir is given haunting background detail. The design of the characters, garb aside, is oddly modern. Vlad and Radu look oddly like kids from a modern high school drama. That’s a weird criticism, I’ll admit, but it did distract me from time-to-time. Maria Santaolalla’s color art is gritty and textured well, and the comic is largely quite gorgeous.

Brothers Dracul #2 shows that the comic isn’t interested in being just another historical fiction horror. It wants the character drama and the bloody horror, and it seems fit to carry both. Mix that with some good artwork, and you have a comic I can easily recommend. Check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.