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Curse of the Mutants

X-Men: The Legacy of Dracula

Victor Gischler talks about how the vampire race stands poised to change the Marvel Universe forever

By Jim Beard

Mark July 8 on your comics calendar, as that's when the future of the vampire race to unfold-or possibly unravel. DEATH OF DRACULA #1 and X-MEN #1, both by writer Victor Gischler, will both descend upon an unsuspecting populace on that day as events take place that will ultimately envelope not only the X-Men, but the Avengers and every other hero in the Marvel Universe.

We asked Gischler how he quantifies the true legacy of the legendary Count Dracula:

"Honestly, I think Dracula is meant to be the ultimate Lord of Vampires," he says. "The fact that he's number one means he constantly has a target on his back-hence DEATH OF DRACULA."

That target's come under the baneful aim of a surprising member of

DEATH OF DRACULA preview art by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Vlad's cadre: his son, Xarus. We've been introduced to other spawn of the Vampire Lord's before, most notably the lovely yet lethal Lilith, in the pages of 1974's GIANT-SIZE CHILLERS #1. These days, Lilith's the least of Dracula's problems. Xarus' lust for power brings him into contact not only with his dear father and Earth's mutants, but also his brother Janus, who first appeared in TOMB OF DRACULA #51 in 1976. Gischler looks at the two sons of Vlad as opposite sides of the same undead coin.

"I think both of them want what is best for the vampire people, as does Dracula in his own subtle way," he explains. "But Janus is more thoughtful whereas Xarus is an impatient upstart."

Gischler will attempt to define Marvel vampires for the turbulent days ahead and claims much admiration for recent vampire events, such as Dracula's campaign against England in CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI:13, which paved the way for his sprawling epic.

X-MEN #1 preview art by Paco Medina
"I thought that was a great arc," he notes. "In DEATH OF DRACULA we have more than just a great story. We're looking at Marvel Universe vampires through a new lens and expanding our understanding of the vampire world."

Other vampire tales of Marvel yore still skulk about in bloodsucking skulls, but whether they exist as lessons learned or something else entirely remains to be seen when the sun sets and DEATH OF DRACULA #1 and X-MEN #1 rise to make their mark on the world and set in motion what's to come for Earth's Mightiest.

"It's cumulative, I think," Gischler says of past attempts to destroy the undead. "These vamps are acutely aware of their relationship with humanity. Some elements in the vampire community are looking to play hardball because of it."


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      cool about time marvel zombies was grate i liked the art work in it i hopethis comic well be darker


      It's just so sad that Marvel is following the crowd and starting in with vampires. Well, here's hoping that they don't sparkle! Marvel Zombies was almost too much, and I like zombies. Sick to death of freaking vampires, though!