etragedy's Tomb of Dracula #8 - The Hell-Crawlers review

Tries To Do Too Much

While the art of Tomb of Dracula has never looked better now that Ernie Chua has been added as inker, the writing is pretty much a mess. Marv Wolfman clearly has a lot of ideas, but the problem is he throws them all in at once, making a gumbo of vampire lore that sometimes works and sometimes falls flat: this issue we get kids under hypnotic control by Dracula that are armed with knives, but that get scared off and come back for no apparent reason, we get a vampire that's pretty much good, there are the gadgets the vampire hunters use and all sorts of stuff made up as the story went along; Did you know Dracula could be poisoned? That vampires can kill each other with their bite in bat form? There's even a machine that makes corpses come back as vampires.

Just as bad as all the ideas that Wolfman tries to pack into one issue (and his attempt to manage parallel action failing pretty badly with characters escaping situations in sudden, unsatisfying ways), stylistically he's all over the map. At times the script reads like Victorian poetry, at others like a soap opera, at other times like superhero comics with long soliloquies while in melee, and at other times, well, just downright corny.

What it all boils down to is that all the elements are here to make a good comic - great artists, a writer with some good ideas and some knowledge of many techniques - but it comes across like a guy trying to do a job using every tool in the box rather than just what is needed for the job at hand.

We know Marv Wolfman is going to become one of the comic greats - he's just not there yet.

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