COMICONThe creative team again delivers an Eisner Award-worthy installment of the classic vampire story. Martin Simmonds’ visuals will be studied and copied for years to come.
Nerd InitiativeThis is working its way into a top 5 book of the year. The way Tynion and Simmonds slowly turn up the heat on this slow burn story creating a shroud of mystery and pulling us deeper into the lore. The pulled deep cuts such as Van Helsing into their story which makes long time fans sure to pop. All in all I am really enjoying this story the two creators have seemingly fused into one mind as this is one of the most flawless first two issues to drop this year for a debut story.
AIPTWe’re only two issues in, and with so much more story still to unfold. And yet I feel like we’ve already had quite the full body experience. That speaks volumes about Tynion and Simmonds’ connection to this story and their painstaking efforts to deliver a version of it like few others before. It’ll terrify and titillate in equal measure, and if you can commit fully to this “process,” then you’re bound to get caught up in the dark magic of it all. Otherwise, you’re missing out on a faithful and forward-thinking take on vampire lore and what these stories really say about us all.
ComicBook.comMartin Simmonds' depiction of Universal's Dracula is nothing short of stunning in an issue that unleashes the iconic Count upon new victims in splashes that will leave readers with their jaws hanging. Dialogue between Van Helsing and other familiar heroes of Stoker's novel offers enough context to drive the story forward, but the second issue also seems to acknowledge that the story is sufficiently familiar to take a back seat to Simmonds' artistic interpretation. Long, silent stretches allow vampiric transformations and attacks to depict a sweeping scale; there's a dark magic present in portrayals of wolves, bats, and shadows with red eyes weaving all of them together. The textures found within collage-like layouts, specifically the title spread, make the artwork on the page almost as transfixing as Dracula's voice is to Lucy Westerna. It's easy to find one's self lost in the great swaths of darkness and sharp linework as something impossibly evil sweeps through London. Although this story may be familiar, the vision of Dracula found in Universal Monsters: Dracula is stunning in its novelty.
Comic CrusadersThe return of one of the classic characters in all of popular culture to the comic book space is a welcomed one. And it's exciting to see this new version is off to such a good start. The mood is dark and ominous and doesn't let up for a page. It hits all the traditional Dracula beats, but in an intriguing new way.
Comical OpinionsUNIVERSAL MONSTERS: DRACULA #2 is a gorgeously-rendered, faithfully yet creatively adapted take on the classic Universal film. Tynions respect for the source material is palpable, but his version feels fresh enough to stand on its own. And Simmonds gorgeous art is a collectors dream.
Graham Crackers ComicsJames Tynion’s story continues to creep readers out in all the best ways as the story expands. More familiar faces appear and more familiar scenes with the strange and eerie painting like images of Martin Simmonds. As we get further into the tale of Dracula, there is still a strange focas on Renfield. Still sporting an all white face with oddly applied features, Renfield’s wallowing is almost gut-wrenching. You can’t help but pity this poor semblance of a man, corrupted beyond recognition by the evil of Dracula. Don’t read this one before going to bed.
Derby ComicsThis is the perfect story for Martin Simmonds’ art to take center stage. The world of Bram Stoker is beautifully brought to life in all its horrific glory via Simmonds’ distortedly complex designs. James Tynion IV’s writing is no slouch, though the author smartly keeps the words on the page to a minimum and trusts his artist to carry the story visually. This creative duo is clearly well suited for each other and readers should sit back and enjoy this genius output for all it’s worth.
James Tynion IV (born December 14, 1987) is an American comic book writer. He is best known for his work on the Batman franchise at DC Comics.
James Tynion IV was born December 14, 1987, and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended Marquette University High School. While studying creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Tynion met and began studying under Scott Snyder, in the nascent years of his comic book writing career. Following school, he became an intern for the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics, working under Editor Shelly Bond, among others.
After a few years working in advertising, Scott Snyder asked Tynion to co-write the back-up features for the New 52 relaunch of Batman, in the midst of the acclaimed “Night of the Owls” comic book storyline, starting with Batman #8. In this comic, he tied the Court of Owls mythology to Alfred Pennyworth’s father, Jarvis Pennyworth, working with noted American Vampire artist, Rafael Albuquerque. Tynion went on to co-write Batman Annual #1 with Snyder, for artist Jason Fabok, which reintroduced classic Batman villain Mr. Freeze into the present day continuity. Continuing on the back-up stories in the main Batman title, Tynion launched a spin-off of the Night of the Owls storyline with the ongoing comic series, Talon, which ran for 18 issues. Tynion followed up Talon with a brief stint on the title Red Hood and the Outlaws in which he re-introduced a number of members of The League of Assassins back into Batman continuity.
In 2013, Tynion paired with artist Jeremy Rock to co-create his first original comic series, The Eighth Seal, for Mark Waid‘s digital comic publisher Thrillbent. The series, an apocalyptic blend of political intrigue and body horror, was nominated for the 2013 Ghastly Award for Best Web Comic. Tynion followed up the series with an additional digital horror comic for Thrillbent, The House In The Wall, co-written by Noah J. Yuenkel and drawn by Eryk Donovan.
In 2014, Tynion launched his two biggest series to date. He was named as one of the head writers of Batman Eternal, a weekly Batman comic series designed to explore the full scope and cast of Gotham City. The series would bring classic Batman characters like Carmine Falcone, Hush, Vicki Vale, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and the original Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley, into the New 52 DC continuity. He also launched the original series The Woods, for BOOM! Studios, with artist Michael Dialynas, which proved to be the highest selling original series at that publisher since Mark Waid’s Irredeemable, with the first issue selling out on a distributor level. The series was given an unprecedented full series order, guaranteeing that it will run to its planned conclusion at issue #36. He followed up The Woods with a three-issue apocalyptic horror miniseries for BOOM! Studios, titled Memetic, which paired him with artist Eryk Donovan once again.
In 2015, Tynion was announced as one of the co-writers of the new Constantine: The Hellblazer series alongside Ming Doyle and artist Riley Rossmo, as a part of the DCYou publishing initiative at DC Comics. Tynion also was announced as the writer of the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover with DC and IDW Publishing, the first meeting between the two franchises. The series launched in December 2015 as DC Comics’ sixth best selling title for the entire year. He also launched two new creator owned series through Boom! Studios, UFOlogy, co-written by Noah J. Yuenkel with art by Matt Fox, and Cognetic, the spiritual sequel to Memetic with artist Eryk Donovan.
At Wondercon in 2016, James Tynion IV was announced as the writer of the biweekly Detective Comics for DC’s Rebirth initiative. The new series launched in June of that year with the classic numbering restored starting with issue #934, and featured Batman and Batwoman as co-leads alongside an initial team of Red Robin, Spoiler, Orphan and Clayface.
Tynion has worked on a number of additional titles for DC Comics, BOOM! Studios, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, and Thrillbent. Tynion became the new writer for Batman as of (vol. 3) #86.
In September 2020, DC Comics announced that Tynion would be among the creators of a revived Batman: Black and White anthology series to debut on December 8, 2020.
James Tynion IV is openly bisexual.
[Latest Update: May 28, 2022]
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