Friday, October 20, 2017

Dracula Month Day 20: Planetary #13

For one bright and shining moment, Warren Ellis was the creator with his finger on the pulse of 21st century comic books; then his hard drive crashed and nothing was ever the same.

Throughout Ellis and artist John Cassaday's series Planetary they made interesting observations about the tropes and traditions of comic book series. Sometimes it was affectionate, sometimes it was acidic. In 2001's Planetary #13 and the story "Century", Ellis & Cassaday delivered a riff on Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, revealing Planetary's chief protagonist Elijah Snow had at one time encountered the likes of Frankenstein's Monster, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula.

I bring up the story "Century" because of all the appearances Dracula has made in comic book form this is probably the least respectful; Ellis & Cassaday didn't seem to find Dracula particularly menacing or tragic, but rather played out and tiresome. Thus, Dracula's encounter with Elijah Snow ends with the vampire being turned into ice then having his crotch kicked off. As Snow himself observes, Dracula truly did have that kind of humiliation coming to him.

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