Writer: Gerry Finley-Day, Simon Furman, & Ken Noble
Artist: Eric Bradbury, Geoff Senior, & Keith Page
Publisher: 2000 AD
At the height of the Cold War in 1984, an East German defector crosses the border into West Germany, and finds aids from British intelligence forces, unaware that the defector is actually Dracula!
Published starting in 1984 in the short lived SCREAM! Magazine, The Dracula File tells the story of Dracula against the backdrop of the Cold War, with an already paranoid British, and conflicts between the East and the West as KGB Officers decide whether or not to warn the British of the monster now within their country.
Unfortunately, while The Dracula File might have been an interesting story had it been published as a monthly comic, it’s limited as a weekly publication. Dracula is the only character given any significant portion of the limited page amount, and he’s not really a character worth following. This is Dracula as a monster from a monster movie, not a well-rounded character. The story is simplistic and never takes full advantage of the Cold War setting. What this means is The Dracula File is a series of short one-off stories reminiscent of classic monster movies.
The writing is often confusing, switching between several scenes where details that the reader has no reason to care about are given in large chunks of dialogue before being swiftly forgotten. This gets in the way of the cheap monster-movie thrills from Dracula’s story, meaning one is never given enough time to become interesting, and the other is interrupted too often to be entertaining.
When it isn’t confusing, it’s tedious given the format. Every few pages have the recap what happened in the last handful of pages. This is something that would have ideally been removed when it was collected, as these recaps are often identical.
The art by Eric Bradbury fares a lot better. It emulates the look and feel of classic monster movies incredibly well, being creepy and somewhat campy, with a balance between the two that creates a cohesive aesthetic. At times a little over detailed, but creating a dark and foreboding world for the story.
From a modern standpoint, The Dracula File doesn’t hold up, but it’s a fairly enjoyable read that is enhanced by an appreciation for classic comics or monster movies.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.