In April of 1972 Marvel Comics launched a new horror series called “Tomb of Dracula”. It’s title character was indeed the star of Bram Stoker’s legendary 1897 novel of the same name. The series, which ran for 70 issues, revealed that in the Marvel Universe Stoker’s novel was not a work of a fiction at all. It chronicled Dracula’s quest for power and the exploits of the steadfast vampire hunters who opposed him like Blade, and Quincy Harker – the son of Jonathan and Mina.
Over the years, Dracula became a semi-staple of the Marvel U also appeared in other Marvel books where he tussled with super powered champions like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Most recently, he used his title as Lord of Earth’s Vampires to launch a full scale vampire invasion of England, which was defeated by the British super team MI-13. This July, one of Dracula’s subjects gets fed up with his reign over the undead and schemes to rob him of his title and his unlife in the one-shot “Death of Dracula” by writer Victor Gischler and artist Giuseppe Cammuncoli. CBR News spoke with Gischler about the book and the familial conflict at its heart.
CBR News: Victor how did this project come about and what drew you to it? Were you a
fan of the “Tomb of Dracula” series from the ’70s? Or did you only recently become acquainted with Marvel’s take on the character?
Victor Gischler: I Never really had the chance to get into the old “Tomb” stuff although I have seen Dracula in action in other titles throughout the years.
When we last saw Dracula and many of the Marvel Universe’s vampires it was in the pages of “Captain Britain and MI-13”, where they almost took over Britain, but ended up being routed by MI-13. How are the coping with that loss when “Death of Dracula” begins? Does it still way heavily on their minds?
That was a great arc, but we’ve moved beyond that to a new era. We allude briefly to Dracula’s fate in that story, but quickly plunge into new territory. It’s new and exciting and will dramatically affect the Marvel U.
What can you tell us about the plot and themes of “Death of Dracula”? Does the titular death happen right away? Or is that death more of a thing that’s lurking over all the characters’ heads?
It’s more than just something lurking. For sure. This is a one-shot, but it’s a big juicy one-shot. It’s a pretty full story. We’re packing a lot into this issue. And it’s going to be dramatic, but the real story is the fallout afterward.
From the solicits it sounds like a vampire named Xarus is one of the characters looking to bring about Dracula’s death in this story. What can you tell us about Xarus?
Xarus has some definite idea about the future of vampire-kind. He is Dracula’s second son and a bit of an upstart, being introduced in this arc.
It seems like the story in “Death of Dracula” is a family affair because Dracula’s first son, Janus also plays a role. In “Tomb of Dracula” Janus merged with an Angel and gained a number of supernatural abilities. What can you tell us about Janus’s status quo when this story begins? Does he still retain some of his angelic powers? Is he completely human? Or has he become like his father? And what motivates Janus in this series?
Janus is a vampire, but not like Dracula. You’ll have to tune in to find out his important role in the book.
Sounds like Dracula, Xarus, and Janus are the key characters in this story. Who are some of the important supporting players?
There’s a whole cast of interesting vampire types that populate this issue. It really will be a broad look at the vampire world.
It sounds like “Death of Dracula” will have some pretty big ramifications throughout the Marvel Universe. And since your first arc in the new “X-Men” series, which also launches in July, involves a vampire invasion of San Francisco I have to ask, does “Death of Dracula” tie
into or help set in motion the events of your first “X-Men” arc?
The timing is a fortunate coincidence. Working on the “Death of Dracula” one-shot set off a series of ideas that have rippled in a few directions, but we’ve been working on it for a long time, making sure we nailed it just right, and as we worked on it the ideas came to us about how we could take this into other books.
Vampire fans are going to dig “Death of Dracula”, but you don’t especially have to be a vampire fan to enjoy this story. There is lots of intrigue and action. And a great glimpse of things to come for vampires in the Marvel U.