A Collection of stories of the X-Men fighting vampires.
Even though I am a huge fan of the older “X-Men” comics, I wanted to read some of the newer “X-Men” comics and I had stumbled upon this short collection of “X-Men” stories called “Curse of the Mutants – Mutants vs. Vampires.” Now although I do not mind the X-Men comics having stories where the X-Men fight supernatural beings, this collection felt too flat to me because the stories in this collection are just the X-Men fighting vampires and there is no clear plot within any of these stories (save for one story). Even though I am a huge fan of paranormal stories, this collection is not as interesting as any other paranormal stories I have read before.
What is the story?
According to the inside flap cover, the previous story stated that Xarus, the Son of Dracula, decided to wage war against San Francisco and the X-Men must stop him and his army of vampires from taking over San Francisco. However, Cyclops comes up with a plan that might stop Xarus and his vampire army and that involve finding Dracula’s body and resurrecting him! This collection has the following stories:
Storm and Gambit: written by Chuck Kim along with artwork by Chris Bachalo
Smoke and Blood: written by Simon Spurrier along with artwork by Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Blade: written by Duane Swierczynski along with artwork by Tim Green
X-Men vs. Vampires #1-2: written by James Asmus, Christopher Sequeira, Peter David, Rob Williams Mike Benson, Simon Spurrier, Howard Chaykin and Mike W. Barr along with artwork by Tom Raney, Sana Takeda, Mick Bertilorenzi, Doug Braithwaite, Mark Texeira, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Howard Chaykin and Agustin Padilla
Uncanny X-Men #159: written by Chris Claremont along with artwork by Bill Sienkiewicz
What I liked about this book:
The only story I actually enjoyed from this collection was Chris Claremont’s story called “Night Screams” which is about how Storm became a vampire after Dracula bit her. “Night Screams” is a truly brilliant story that I have enjoyed reading because:
1) It has Dracula in the story and any story with Dracula in it is worth reading .
2) The writing and the art were top notch!
Chris Claremont’s writing is extremely brilliant as it details the struggles that Storms has to face when she was transformed into a vampire. I loved seeing the scenes between her and Kitty Pryde because those two characters treated each other like sisters and it was touching seeing how Kitty was willing to put her life on the line to save Storm. I also loved how Chris Claremont gave this story a dramatic tone as there is tension throughout this story about whether or not Storm will ever became herself again and the temptations she encounters when she wants to be with Dracula. Bill Sienkiewicz’s artwork is beautiful and has that 80s retro style look that really made me feel so nostalgic of the older comics. I loved the way that Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated the facial expressions on the characters, especially with Storm looking so pale and frightened which gave her a truly eerie look and then when Storm turns into a vampire, she has red glowing eyes and fangs that makes her look truly frightening.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this comic:
There were so many issues I had with this collection. For one thing (with the exception of “Night Screams”), none of the stories had any kind of plot that is related to finding Dracula’s body to stop Xarus from over taking San Francisco. Yes, each story has a different X-Men character defeating a vampire, but none of that has anything to do with defeating Xarus. Also, even though I liked the character Blade (at least the character I remembered from the movies) I do not see a reason for Blade being in this collection; unless he was helping the X-Men defeat the vampires. It feels like they included Blade in this collection because he deals with vampires, not because he has a connection with the X-Men and I wished that this collection explored Blade’s relationship with the X-Men a little more. Also, most of the stories in this collection are a bit flat in the writing because all you could see is that the X-Men are fighting vampires and there are no character developments or any kind of a straightforward plot that will pull you in the story. The only story that was worth reading was “Night Screams” by Chris Claremont because it was the only story that had a good and convincing plot and it was the only X-Men story that had brilliant interactions between the characters, mostly between Kitty Pryde and Storm.
If you like to read comics that has vampires and just straightforward action with no complex character developments, then this collection might be for you. But if you love reading comics that has character developments and very touching plots, then “X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Mutants vs. Vampires” might not be a good choice. I would strongly suggest to just read “Night Screams” from this collection since the rest of the stories are not as plot driven and well written as this story was and therefore, this collection was not an interesting read for me.