Marvel Raises the Stakes with The Death of Dracula!

Marvel hopes you like vampires, because they're going to be playing a major role in the Marvel Universe for a good long time. 

You may have heard rumblings about Marvel's plan to dust Dracula in a new one-shot on June 30th. The Death of Dracula by writer Victor Gischler and artist Giusseppe Camuncoli is the opening salvo in what is to be a long and bloody war between Marvel's heroes and a horde of vampires. The story continues in the Curse of the Mutants story line starting in July's X-Men #1. 

But it doesn't end there (or even in January when CotM wraps up).

On a call earlier this afternoon, Gischler and Marvel editors Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso talked about the importance of this one-shot, hailing it as the "first brick" in a much longer story about vampires in the Marvel U. In the months and years to come we'll be seeing these same vampires in the pages of the Avengers books. Their fangs will be in everything.

Alonso explained that this Heroic Age one-shot, while primarily a prequel to the Curse of the Mutants story line, is also an opportunity to organize the vampire concept within the Marvel universe, updating and making sense of decades of diverse vampire tales. In Gischler's words, "a revamp." Dracula is of course a major part of that continuity and legacy, and it is his death which sparks the larger story. The writer and editors expressed their wish to modernize and expand the world of Marvel's vampires, which are said to include old and new groups they're reffering to as "tribes." Gischler's intent is to move away from the "Count Chocula" representation of Dracula seen in his older Tomb of Dracula period. As such, they're intentionally shying away from Gene Colan's designs of the 70s, and have instead looked to artist Marco Djurdjević for some fresh new redesigns (previewed below).

Brevoort alluded to the nature of the Curse of the Mutants story line by suggesting that both mutants and vampires have suffered many losses over the years and only boast dwindelling numbers these days. In a sense, they have the same problem. Are they a threat to one-another or is there an argument for coexistence, even unification? This is apparently the initial question of the vampire story, which will eventually move beyond the X-books and into the pages of other comics across the Marvel line. We can confirm that this is all leading up to an event and a new status quo.

I asked if Gischler or the editors could foresee a time when we'd find a line of ongoing Marvel vampire books that weren't simply arcs within other ongoing titles, something similar to Marvel's cosmic books like Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy. Will the vampires get their own little sandbox?

"It isn't farfetched," said Gischler, who went on to tease the rich universe he's set up. The one-shot apparently centers on a meeting, held once every 100 years on a mysterious Greek island, where the leaders of various vampire tribes come to try and settle their many disagreements. It is at this latest meeting when everything changes and a power struggle erupts between the factions. We know we will see Xarus (brother to Janus and son to Dracula.) We know we will see Atlantean vampires as well  as "Nosferatu vampires." And Brevoort also mentioned Chinese vampires with particular excitment.

A little later, we will also be seeing vampiric terrorism in the form of a suicide blood bombing in San Francisco, an inciting act which leads into Curse of the Mutants.  

So, moral of the story, if you want a forecast of a major plotline that's set to affect the entire Marvel universe, you're gonna want to check this one out.

Here's a quick preview of The Death of Dracula one-shot, hitting the racks June 30th, featuring interiors from Giuseppe Camuncoli and character designs for Dracula and Xarus by Djurdjević.

 

 

Me, I'm stocking up on my garlic. But I also have the urge to break out some Castlevania cartridges…

Comments

  1. Marvel better call Major Lazer

  2. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. So…this isn’t the badass guy who tried to invade the UK? And good lord I could not think of a more dull story. I’m just hoping I won’t have to buy any of this vampire shit to understand what I normally buy.

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    So, I uh, took a lot of notes. 

    I asked if it would be safe to assume that this new direction for Marvel’s vampires would be dialed back from what Remender is doing in Frankencastle and the larger Marvel Monsterverse. Was told, yes, that this is a story strictly about the world’s scattered vampire tribes and their dealings with the Marvel heroes. No werewolves, no goblins. This seems to be a completely different tone, nothing nearly as campy as Frankencastle Quite the opposite in fact. They want Marvel vampires to be "hip," "cool," and "badass." 

    But I was told that readers of Frankencastle should stay tuned because there will be an announcement later in the year that is closely related to that book. Vague, but I’ll take it. 

  5. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @mikeandzod21 – From what I understand Gischler touches on the Cornell story (probably only because it was the most recent appearance of Dracula) in the book, but you should expect a different take on the character. Vampire missiles from the moon are probably 180 degrees from what Marvel wants to be doing. 

  6. After reading through it I’m on the fence. So many cool things can be done with Dracula. But then I remember that Blade has killed this bastard like 3 times. He’s a vampire and not only that he’s the most badass one out there. If Darla can come back on Angel then Dracula can surely come back from this.

  7. I find this more interesting than I thought I would.

  8. @conor I agree, I went from this sounds dumb to reading the article and now thinking about picking it up.  Nice promoting work Paul.

  9. This would be incredible to read until you see those two evil words: Victor Gischler.

    This is the same guy who gets shit for Deadpool comics but now we’re going to think his take on Dracula will be good? No thanks.

    (Everyone else enjoy the ride though!)

  10. I think it’s great that they’re trying to update the Marvel "Monsterverse" and will be checking this out. We’ll see where things lead.

  11. hmmm under the banner… i guess i’ll pick it up.

  12. What is a mutant? A miserable pile of genetics.

  13. Enter the Marvel Twilight-verse.  

    Vampires have led to so many rich storytelling opportunities over history, so I’m certainly not going to turn my nose up at this.  It also smells like Marvel trying to cash in on the current craze for all things vampire.  I’m not going to turn my nose up at that either, actually.  Go on, Marvel.  Make your money.  And your stories.  But also your money. 

  14. Whaaaaat? X-Men #1 in July? How did I miss this? is it finally a relaunch of X-Men Legacy? I’ve been wondering if they’d drop the "Legacy" for a while. Or is Marvel keeping Uncanny, Legacy, and adding another "adjectiveless" X-Men? 

  15. @Andrew they’re adding. If it was with A, B, or even C list talent I’d be excited. This guy? He can’t keep a fucking Deadpool book afloat. So no thanks, and keep you peanut butter out of my chocolate

  16. I was going to comment on how awful the Heroic Age banner looks on the cover of this book, but then it suddenly dawned on me that the cover kind of makes the already atrocious banner into a bizarre kind of parody.

  17. This interests me way more than it should… dammit, Paul. Your PR skills are incredible. If they can find a way to involve the MI 13 characters I might actually pick it up. Atlantean Vampires sound pretty damn cool though.

  18. A 180 on the depiction of vampires in the Marvel Universe.

    Yeah, way to be cutting edge Marvel. Groan.

  19. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Anson – Aside from Blade, don’t expect to see any of the MI 13 characters. They touch on Dracula’s fate in that book, but that’s it. 

  20. Well, I will drop any of my marvel books that do this. It looks stupid.

  21. This sounds a lot better than I was going to give credit for but I’ll probablty still pass on it.  It seems to me that the zombie well is drying up, not just Marvel Zombies but mainstream media zombie stuff as well.  It also looks like with shit like Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, etc. that Vampires are the new flavor.  If the stories are good and this leads to better ideas that’s good but I really don’t see this being much of a success. I’m sure Blade will be in this I hope that Morbius can make an appearance as well.  Stay tuned I guess.

    @Paul: Good work, awesome interview skills, you can have your heart attack now. Keep it up.

  22. Anyone else think the new Dracula design looks like a cross between Vulcan and (the recent GoG) Adam Warlock?

  23. So, I’m curious… the "Count Chocula" version of Dracula was seen so recently… How are they going to get from that version to this one? The classic "oh-that-guy-wasn’t-the-REAL-Dracula–I-am!" scenario? Or does he go through a transformation? Do they just ignore it?

  24. Why does Dracula look like he’s escaped from a 90’s Image comic? Surely if they were going to update him they would choose a look that wasn’t already 20 years out of date.

    Honestly, as soon as they referred to the Tomb of Dracula era as "Count Chocula" I half tuned out.  TOD is still being reprinted and sold to this day for a reason. It’s simply one of the best Marvel books of the 70’s. And in many ways, a lot more adult that most comics produced now.

     In 5 years when this thing is gathering dust in the quester bins, people we still be seeking out TOD.

  25. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @MikeFarley – I’m with you on Tomb of Dracula. Great stuff. 

    @daccampo – I assume they reference the Captain Britain story very briefly in such a way that it fits with this new hipper version. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s something like, "Now that that business with the MI:13 is out of the way…"

    I’m all for a big, epic vampire story line, so I want to like this. But I definitely agree that the decision to veer away from the campy legacy of Tomb of Dracula doesn’t really sit well. 

  26. I’m also not sure why anyone thinks killing off Dracula holds any kind of dramatic weight. He dies and comes back.That’s his thing.  He died at least three times in TOD.  And got better. The X-Men killed him. He got better. Hell, Dr. Strange obliterated every single vampire on Earth via the Montesi Formula…and Dracula still came back.

     

    Also, why do we neeed an unrevealed son of Dracula? Couldn’t his daughter Lilith have filled that role?  She’s been trying to kill her old man for 500 years. 

  27. I do find it funny that this ‘Heroic Age’ is suppose to bring a bit more……pleasantness to the Marvel U. Or at least in theory. With this cover we get a gruesome image of Dracula getting killed on top of skulls and bones. Not very heroic.

  28. @MikeFarley – I suspect it’s not really the death of Dracula that holds the dramatic weight, but rather the power struggle to fill the vacuum created with his death.  That said, it does seem odd that they’d spend so much time revamping him just to kill him. Methinks there’s a larger plan…

    @TNC – I think you’re taking the Heroic banner a little too literally. They never said there wouldn’t be conflict. They just said that this set the stage for a clearer dynamic — heroes getting to be heroes. And with a whole event dedicated to having heroes fight Evil vampires, I kinda think that’s what you’re getting. 

  29. @TNC: You’re placing too much emphasis on "The Heroic Age." No one ever said what it would be anything other than a return to the heroes being back in charge.

  30. @Paul — yeah, I was just wondering which of the (somewhat cliche) conventions they’d follow for such a revamp. It’s not that I think any of them would be terrible — I’m totally okay with them just getting to the story they want to tell — but the other version was SO recent, I figure they’d have to address it… and I’m admittedly just playing the guessing game. I think it’d be GREAT if they just showed a scene where he goes home after MI:13, takes off the old outfit, lets his white hair free from the wig he’s been wearing and says something like "I knew that retro-look was a bad idea…Can’t believe I left Randy talk me into that. Never again."

  31. @conor/daccampo: I did say in theory and it looks like all over the web people have different opinions on what the ‘Heroic Age’ means.

  32. @TNC: Those prople are assuming things not in evidence.

  33. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @dave – I like that scenario A LOT. My instinct though is that they’re just taking a broom and lifting up the corner of the rug. Which is unfortunate. 

  34. Paul Cornell should have written this.  (yes, I know he’s busy with some sort of ‘action’ comic, but still.. )

  35. what a fantastic opportunity to not buy any marvel comics in the next year or so! 

     

    seriously, x-men vs. vampires?

     

    i don’t care. at all. 

  36. This is a great opportunity for Marvel to add more words to their titles and more banners to their covers.  We’ll get classics like:

    The Heroic Age:  Avengers:  Seige Aftermath:  The Death of Dracula

    X-Men:  The Death of Dracula:  Curse of the Mutants

  37. It’s certainly an odd change of aesthetic and direction, that’s for sure. This also seems a pretty poorly mistimed story concept for all concerned.

    It’s not even been a full year since Marvel’s biggest Vampire story in years. It’s not even been a month since Marvel were praising Captain Britain & MI13’s  ‘Vampire State’ for it’s Hugo Awards nomination, a story in which an inteligently written Dracula was shown to be an accomplished and season war general, and a significant threat.

    And was killed.

    Yes. Dracula is already very dead. Under ten months ago.

    To see this new incarnation of Dracula, suddenly back from the dead so soon, as a big 90s stylised videogame villain seems very odd. Marvel clearly expect us all to find that in some way dramatic and new. Only it really isn’t.

    It seems that somebody either forgot that Vampire State happened or just thought they could get away with pretending it never happened.

    This comes just as the Twilight/Vampire bubble is bursting too. Poor timing. And also, somehow managed to both ignore existing continuity and rip off another writer’s story in process at the same time. It’s really a quite bewildering mess how so many fans were aware of Mark Millar’s ph-so-similar story plans, but that some editors didn’t realise the pitch they were receiving sounded a LITTLE familliar…

    I don’t really know the writer, admittedly. It’s clear that Marvel have confidence in them to revamp their vampire universe, and probably thought that this would be a successful move which people would be really psyched about. Maybe if it was two years ago they would have been. But not now. They’ve kind of missed the boat on that. Now what cleary was intended to ride the trend is somewhat coming across as desperately being dragged along holding onto it’s coat tails, with a wink and thins up.

    All round pretty odd.

  38. I am one of the formost Marvel zombies on this site and I…just don’t care. It looks great. I love vampires and I love superheroes, but I don’t want ’em together. I hope it’s not too difficult to avoid this event.