By Kevin Mahadeo
As Dracula dies, a new nation is quite literally born in blood.
Beginning with the June 30 one-shot DEATH OF DRACULA, the vampire race of the Marvel Universe finally unites under one banner. But the joining of blood across the world sucks in more ways than one for the heroes of Marvel, especially the X-Men. Out of DEATH OF DRACULA follows "Curse of the Mutants," an event beginning in issue #1 of the new ongoing X-MEN series and pitting the merry mutants against the newly-created army of bloodsucking undead.
|DEATH OF DRACULA promo art by Marko Djurdjevic|
"I worked closely with Axel on this on one of the things we did was look at what we already had," adds Victor Gischler, writer on the upcoming X-MEN title. "There were already these types of vampires-tribes, sects, like Nosferatu, Atlantis vampires. That gave us a starting point. We used some of the old ones [and] invented some new ones to sort of shape the vampire world and the vampire hierarchy."
Gischler went on to explain one of the main goals as getting away from the traditional vampire and make the nightwalkers of the Marvel Universe more modern and accessible. While part of this included updating the physical look of Dracula and his blood relatives, most of the process involved approaching vampires in a new light, more as a culture of people.
"More than anything, we just figured that if you had vampires around the globe, they'd reflect the societies of which they are a part," says Alonso. "There would be vampires extremely fearful of humans and who lived in solitude and fed off of sheep and rats. There would be vampires who were loud and pride. There would be Atlantean vampires, and if you look at history they say that Atlantis was the birth of vampires, so we figured those guys had to be hardcore."
|DEATH OF DRACULA preview art by Giuseppe Camuncoli|
"Within the Marvel Universe, vampires exist against a mythology that includes Norse gods, soldiers from the 40's [and] web-slinging kids," continues Brevoort. "All of these have an impact and influence in the place that vampires find themselves in the Marvel Universe and even how they conduct themselves."
The creators also compared vampires to mutants, which made the X-Men a perfect backdrop for this story reintroducing the creatures of the night.
"There are some similarities between the two societies," says Alonso. "They both are somewhat closed [groups] of outcasts who have to sustain themselves in a world that hates them and fears them, sometimes somewhat rightfully so."
"They're both facing a scenario where they're dealing with dwindling numbers," elaborates Brevoort. "There are very few mutants left at this point and as far as we know, there are relatively few vampires left. So, that raises the questions as to whether mutants can co-exist or whether they in fact have the same goals at the end of the day rather than being so different from one another."
|DEATH OF DRACULA character design by Marko Djurdjevic|
"I have a family history of vampirism," jokes the writer, whose novels have included takes on the vampire mythos.
As for future plans for the new vampire nation, DEATH OF DRACULA and "Curse of the Mutants" will only the first steps in the long path that lies ahead.
"We've done this sort of thing before," says Brevoort. "DEATH OF DRACULA is just one brick in the road and 'Curse of the Mutants' is the next brick in that road and there are these two, maybe three other bricks beyond that shaping up. The message that we're sending out as overtly as we possibly can is that DEATH OF DRACULA may seem like a throwaway thing or a primer or whatnot, but it will absolutely be a crucial piece as we move ahead and move forward in the Marvel Universe over the course of the next 18 months."
To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com
Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now!
Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution", "Wolverine and the X-Men", "Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes", and "The Super Hero Squad Show" now on iTunes!
Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!