AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Dell Dracula comics (1966)
Continuing our Halloween AWESOME-tober-fest, this week we are looking at comics featuring Dracula. Today is one part of a group of comics by Dell that re-imagines the Universal Monsters as super heroes.
I have previously looked at the other Dell Monster comics for Halloween. Dell picked up the Universal Monster license in the early 60s and tried to reboot the monsters into super heroes. It was as gloriously insane as you think it was. I talked a little bit about the Dell Frankenstein comic during AWESOME-tober-fest 2009. I hope to someday revisit that comic for a more in depth review. Next I took a long look at the Dell Werewolf comic for AWESOME-tober-fest 2010. While strangely awesome and weird, the Werewolf comic had the best plot so far. They next turned their eyes toward Dracula. And the above comic laden with ridiculous weirdness was the result. Check out that goddam costume. Did he design it in the dark?
The Dracula series only lasted three issue. Here are issues #3 and #4.
The comics are pretty zany. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more entertaining bits.
Here’s the new Dracula’s origin. This guy, Dr Dracula is trying to clear his family name since it’s been smeared by legend. He is trying to cure brain damage with bats…somehow. He creates a serum, pronounces it a success and then proceeds to let go all of his test bats because his work is done (without testing it?). Then one of the bats knocks over the serum and it pours into Dracula’s celebratory drink…without him knowing it (of course!). The serum inexplicably gives Dracula the ability to transform into a bat which, if you think about it as a super power, kinda sucks.
The names in this book are completely weird. The main character, Dr Dracula, changes his name so he can travel unrecognized. What does he change it to? Al U. Card (it’s Dracula backward, get it?). If that’s not clever enough, he expands it to Aloyisius Ulysses Card. He actually tells people that this is his name. With a straight face. And the chick he just met up there? Her name is B.B. Beebe. Yes, it sounds just like B.B.B.B. The hell?
So Drac—sorry, Al U Card met BB Beebe on the cruise ship over from Europe to America. He said he’d call but apparently didn’t. BB sneaks up on him in the park asking where he’s been. Every excuse he gives she shoots down saying she’s been watching the outside of his apartment for three days and he hasn’t ever come out. Yeah, THREE DAYS. Get away you creepy ass stalker.
BB finally brow beats poor Al into dating her. Then BB somehow breaks into his lab, steals the bat transformation serum and drinks it. Al is now forced into making her his sidekick and creating her a similarly ridiculous costume. And instead of calling herself something awesome like Lady Dracula BB picks Fleeta for her super hero name. F**KING FLEETA. Because it’s some retarded shortening of Fledermaus (German for The Bat).
This was a somewhat cool idea I wish they had expanded on. Dracula and Fleeta arrive at a crime scene to help the authorities but they are beaten there by Frankenstein. We even get a one panel appearance by the monster super hero. I really wish they would have had a full on meeting between the two. Maybe even including Werewolf. I have no doubt that it was planned, as this one panel cameo sets up that they were in the same universe at least. Ahh, missed opportunities.
So that was the amazingness that was the super hero Dracula. I actually have the Dell Frankenstein books, and I really want to give a more indepth look at them because they are awesome. But it’ll have to wait. Possibly for next AWESOME-tober-fest.
Stay tuned for more awesome vampire comics coming this week!
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.