Previously- Comics I’m Currently Reading| Coming soon- Curse of the White Night #8
Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula was written by Frank Tieri, with art by Angel Unzueta and Stefano Landini. The colours are by Rachelle Rosenberg, with letters by VC’s Travis Lanham, and was released on the 1st of March 2020.
What do you need to have read?
There is no other reading required to understand the flashback portion of the story. The beginning and the end allude to Ravencroft, but if you’ve come for Captain America and Dracula then you don’t need to understand those parts one hundred per cent.
What do you need to know?
This is a one-shot story which acts as a prelude to the Ravencroft series. The beginning and the end of the story deal with this present-day story, while the majority is a flashback featuring Captain America and Bucky. Unsurprisingly I came for the Bucky content. But also, I adore Dracula so that was very appealing to me. You ought to know that Ravencroft is the Arkham Asylum of the Marvel universe, but that is mostly explained on the page.
I came to this issue to see Captain America fight Dracula, and I stayed when I realised that Bucky was involved. I don’t have any interest in the larger series and as a result, will not be discussing those parts of this issue which allude to it. Instead, I will be talking about two aspects: Bucky and Dracula.
There is a lot of easy exposition in this book which is needed to explain what Dracula is doing here in the first place. It’s not the most sophisticated storytelling, but I wasn’t expecting that from this book. Dracula has a mutually beneficial agreement with the Nazis that if they cure the vampires of all their weaknesses, the vampires will help them in turn. It’s quite a basic plotline and doesn’t give any sort of depth to Dracula, which is a shame, but it was fun.
The fight between the two was also fun to see, as it’s not run of the mill for Cap to be fighting Dracula. The fight was fun to see, although I do think that the art could have done something a bit more exciting. It is Dracula vs. Captain America after all. The art was not bad by any means, it was just very average. The most exciting part was that Cap is on the ropes a little. Unfortunately, the stakes don’t feel too high, but it was fun to see. It definitely could have been longer, but it felt like some of those fighting panels were sacrificed for Bucky’s story. The sacrifice was worth it because the heart of the story lay with Bucky.
Cap and Bucky go to Ravencroft to rescue Cap’s friend, Bud. As far as I know, Bud was made for this story and does not play a larger role in the universe. All we know about him is that he stuck up for Steve a lot when they were kids. Do you know what I get from his character? I get MCU Bucky. This gives an interesting parallel between Bud and Bucky, who are both imprisoned and experimented on. It’s worth remembering at this point that the Bucky we see in this flashback is not the Winter Soldier, creating a bit of dramatic irony as we know something the character on the page does not.
It is implied that Bucky kills Bud out of mercy, as the latter begs for death after the horrors that he’d been put through. This was brilliant to see as it emphasises the fact that Bucky had always been there to do the dirty work, that which Captain America could not. It also begs the question: Could Steve have made that difficult choice? I don’t think that he could of, because he would have been hampered by his sense of rigid morality. This is exactly why you need Bucky, and why he later makes such a fascinating Cap.
Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula is available from Comixology or your local comic book store. You can also preorder the trade paperback of Ravencroft from Forbidden Planet if you’re interested in the series, or the trade paperback, Ruins of Ravencroft, which features Sabretooth and Carnage.
Coming Soon… Curse of the White Night #8 (Finally!)
In the meantime, why not check out… Captain America (1984), Falcon & Winter Soldier #1, or Winter Soldier: Second Chances #1.
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