Scout Comics 2020.
Written by Matteo Strukul
Illustrated by Andrea Mutti
Lettered by Joel Rodriguez
Vlad Dracul II, the Impaler, the Son of the Dragon, was a Warlord, a Voivod, a Guardian Warrior, an iconic historical figure who was able to successfully strike fear into the hearts of the fearsome Ottoman Empire. Vlad is an epic story of love and war, a historical ride with rivers of blood, tears, swords and love and a discovery of a man that was, perhaps, the most famous warrior of his era that inspired the Dracula legends. This is the story of the man behind the myth.
Well I am not really sure what to expect here. I mean we have seen a number of stories about Vlad so I was waiting and wondering how this was going to be different from other versions. Matteo is surprising me here and I really like that he has because this is something we have never seen before. I mean you all know that I am a huge fan of Scout Comics and the work that they do and this, THIS, is a perfect example why. The opening for this is superb and it sets the stage for the story beautifully. Also it’s that perfect snapshot from Matteo and Andrea to showcase just what we are in store for.
The way that this is being told is phenomenal. The story & plot development here that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. What we see here is extremely intriguing and while it doesn’t feel like he’s a Vampire at this time or even the Impaler as of yet and this route and the characters introduced make me want to see more. The character development is really marvellous and I do love seeing how these develop throughout the issue and heightens the desire to see more. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story we see how everything works together to create the books ebb & flow.
The way that this is structured and has some layers woven through is really nice to see. This really does surprise me in some wonderful ways as it pulls you in immediately and engages you through the imagination of your mind. The characters are charming, delightful and completely villainous, it’s everything you could possibly want to see.
The interiors here are utterly and amazingly beautiful. I feel as if it really has that ability to transport us back in time to such a beautiful and exotic place. Not to mention with the time of year we see which makes it scream of love, innocence and romanticism. The attention to detail in the work is divine and the little details that we see within them bring this to life like an oil painting from some bygone master. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show this masterful eye for storytelling. With the backgrounds being utilised the way they are we get that perfect enhancement of the moment not to mention this depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The colour work is gorgeous and how we see the various hues and tones within any given colour being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is exceptional. Also there are moments when you question just why we see a certain colour in a certain place, well that’s just how it is supposed to work and colour isn’t as solid as most think plus light sources, what creates the light, varies and some of that casts a colour change.
This is a beautiful book and it has a very unique point of view and perspective of the namesake character. I look forward to exploring this world that these gents have created. This is something you need in your life and let it envelope you and transport you to another place and time.