I am, perhaps unsurprisingly, a huge fan of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula novels. Set in a world that diverges from the original Dracula when Dracula defeats his attackers and goes on to turn Queen Victoria into his thrall and make the formerly secret world of vampires extremely public, the novels chronicle a century shaped by his actions, incorporating pieces of pop culture that range from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Blacula to The Rockford Files.

It's great stuff that's making the transition to comics courtesy of Titan, and just in case I needed another reason to get excited about that as a fan of the books, the latest preview gives us a first glimpse at our cast, and the dramatic return (technically the "preturn") of the Bloody Red Baron!

 

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While the 1895 setting places it long before the events of The Bloody Red Baron, the novel set in Anno Dracula's version of World War I, it's pretty easy to make the connection between that book's plot and what we're seeing on the page here.

The idea is that in this universe, the Red Baron's squadron doesn't fly airplanes, they use the questionable benefits of Dracula's particular strain of vampirism to turn themselves into massive bat hybrids that can tear their enemies' planes to shreds. It's pretty good, especially when they end up fighting someone who may or may not go on to become the Shadow.

Here's the official solicitation:

ANNO DRACULA #1
Writer: Kim Newman
Artist: Paul McCaffrey
FC • 32pp • $3.99 On sale: March 22, 2017

1895. Prince Dracula has ruled Great Britain for ten years, spreading vampirism through every level of society. On the eve of Dracula’s Jubilee, radical forces gather to oppose the tyrant. Kate Reed, vampire journalist and free-thinker, takes a seat on the revolutionary Council of Seven Days, though she learns that the anarchist group harbors a traitor in its midst. The Grey Men, Dracula’s dreaded secret police, have been ordered to quash all resistance to the rule of the arch-vampire. With intrigue on all sides, the scene is set for an explosive addition to the Anno Dracula series.

COVER A: PAUL MCCAFFREY (Order code: JAN171977)

COVER B: TOM MANDRAKE (Order code: JAN171978)

COVER C: BRIAN WILLIAMSON (Order code: JAN171979)

COVER D: JEFF ZORNOW (Order code: JAN171980)

COVER E: MIKE COLLINS (Order code: JAN171981)