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Dracula: The Company of Monsters Volume 2

A comic review article by: Mike Prezzato
Well, what I assumed from the title, and was almost hoping for, was a very ghoulish get together of all the classic monsters (the 80s movie Monster Squad came to mind). Although my assumption turned out to not be the case, this take on the ol' Drac mythos does us the unexpected favor of avoiding both that potentially corny scenario as well as a stuffy retelling of Dracula's origin.

We find ourselves not in the middle ages, but in the present with research worker Evan and his Uncle Conrad, CEO of a large corporation (Company of Monsters, get it?), who have had the (bad) luck of coming across the body of Dracula.

Their next step? Bring Dracula back to life in order to use him--for some yet unknown gain, of course. Right off the bat, we’re on to some relatively fresh vampire lore.
Throw into the mix a group of Romanian vampire hunters and an extensive collection of vampirised family members, and you have a potential bloodsucker war brewing.

If this book had been given a more exploitative title, it would have been called Count Dracula and the Horror of Capitalism. Thankfully, though, it wasn’t because it's neither exploitative nor corny. It’s essentially, “what if the king of vampires attempted a corporate buyout?”

A verrrry bloody corporate buyout.

By the end of this volume, Drac reminds us why he's called the Impaler, and Evan chooses the lesser, or possibly more familiar, of two evils.

Oh and whether you're religious or not, you have to admit that crucifix brass knuckles absolutely rule.

Although reading the first volume of this series would obviously help, not having read the first volume won't hinder your immediate understanding of the general plot and characters. Evan comes off a bit ignorant and almost uncaring at first, until others around him start getting sucked into the trouble. By the end of this volume, it seems as if Evan is the ONLY one who cares.

Scott Godlewski and Damian Couceiro split duties by alternating between the four chapters in this volume. I prefer Godlewski’s work with his John Romita Jr.-esque style. It's not that Couceiro's work is anything to scoff at, but Godlewski's art is much more stylized and memorable--which is the problem with alternating artists: 99% percent of the time one artist usually outshines the other.

Either vampires or zombies have been THE BIG THING for a while, right? Well, what happens when an idea or concept becomes is that it usually becomes copied. To death. However, don't pass up this book on the basis of thinking, "Oh, another vampire book."

Are you really going to turn down Dracula climbing the corporate ladder?

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