X-MEN VS. DRACULA – RETRO COMICS FROM THE DAYS WHEN COMICS WERE WORDY…

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Uncanny X-Men 159 & The 1982 X-Men Annual

The X-men go visit a friend in New York, but rather than knock on the door upon arrival, they break in using their super powers, harassing the occupant, their friend’s flatmate. Real cool. Dicks.

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Being a comic, a few pages later while waking home, Storm is attacked by Dracula. Why the heck not? Over the course of the issue Hammer Horror Dracula slaps the X-men around (remember the days when the X-men were not all action heroes but regular folk with powers?) until he leaves in a ‘I’ll get you next time’ manner.

Dracula pops up again a little later in the 1982 annual, when the same thing happens but with more pages.

As per normal, Chris Claremont tells the story with all the words possible, giving us dialogue, thought bubbles and caption boxes all in the same panel. Feels like you’re reading a prose story, not a comic. Why tell us that Cyclops is shooting his optic blast or Wolverine is popping his claws (in as many words as possible) when there is an artist there who can show it to us with their pretty pictures?

These issues are drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz, back in the days when he was a regular artist. Its strange to see such normal looking art from him, even if it is good. A few panels and the covers to these issues hint at what he’s about to become in a very short time but my main take-away from these comics is that Claremont likes words. A lot.

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