COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE CHRONICLES OF LEGION VOL. 1: THE RISE OF THE VAMPIRES / AUTHOR: FABIEN NURY / ARTIST: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: TITAN COMICS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Chronicles of Legion is a tale of three incarnations of Dracula written by Fabien Nury, with artwork by Mathieu Lauffray, Mario Alberti, Zhang Xiaoyu, and Tirso. Nury, best known for French comic book series I Am Legion, takes on the mythical tale of Dracula with mixed results.
The same blood of Vlad Tepes flows in each character as we are introduced to the three and their story; Gabriella Doña de la Fuente, on her way to Latin America; Armand Malachi, who recruits mercenaries from Napoleon's defeated army in order to steal a treasure; and in Whitechapel, London, the unremarkable Victor Douglas Thorpe receives a mysterious letter that could shake his destiny.
It never seems to capture the essence of the mythology of Dracula, and the fundamental flaw is that none of the three characters’ lives are as interesting as the legend itself. Maybe it is a harsh criticism, but Dracula is the thing that links them and we need more information as to the motivation behind each character and what links them to each other. It's a tough task, something that many people have found difficult, and often the characters seem bland and uninteresting in The Chronicles of Legion. It's a shame, because if Volume 1 would have been about just one of the characters, say Gabriella, it could have given a lot more room for the story to breathe with more flashbacks to Vlad Tepes in Transylvania.
The art is rather inventive, with splash pages featuring multiple characters and flashbacks in a unique style; the style feels different for each of the three characters and their landscapes. Victorian London features lots of greys and a very bleak style, while during the war in Moscow there is a lovely balance of white snow and the blue of the soldiers’ uniforms. The art captures the style of each place and conveys a purpose, it's just a shame that the character don't feel as fleshed out as the settings.
The Chronicles of Legion has a stunning art style and a unique premise so we're hoping for more exciting things to come. It won't really interest people with a love for the Dracula mythology but it might capture the attention of fans of Nury's previous work.
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