Victorian Undead II: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula

Victorian Undead II: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula
Victorian Undead review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: WildStorm - 978-1-4012-3268-9
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2011
  • UPC: 9781401232689
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Horror, Period drama

In the title story it’s the turn of the new century, and the small Yorkshire town of Whitby is being lashed by the waves. Will the approaching ship make shore? Down in London reconstruction work continues after the devastation caused by Sherlock Holmes’ desperate solution to the zombie plague.

As exemplified by the recommendations, Ian Edginton’s no stranger to alternate histories of the 19th century, and as he did in Sherlock Holmes vs Zombies, he incorporates actual historical events into his plot. It opens with the suggestion of a giant golden statue of Britannia for London, and the anaemia running in Queen Victoria’s family is mentioned. Alongside them he introduces the supporting cast from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The sample art shows Davide Fabbri’s interpretation of Dracula being slightly removed from what we’re familiar with, long blonde hair gracing his austere, hypnotic features. It also displays Fabbri’s work rate, and the talent for ensuring the cast and locations convince. Tom Mandrake’s Dracula interlude in the opening chapter is impressive, but Mario Guevara’s contributions from the third are ungainly, with stiff and poorly proportioned people.

Given only five chapters for the main story, Edginton accelerates matters with even greater rapidity than before. Holmes rapidly assesses the menace Dracula is, and considerable haste is required to prevent his plans coming to fruition. Due to Guevara’s contributions running to almost an entire chapter, this story ranks lower than the original outing for Victorian Undead.

There’s a second story, though, with Holmes approached about the problem of the missing Dr Henry Jekyll. Has harm come to him? Horacio Domingues draws this, veering more toward cartooning, and not nearly as subtle as Fabbri in drawing attention to small elements needed for the plot. He almost signposts them. A restricted page count also limits Edginton. Barely has Holmes questioned Dr Jekyll than his murderous alter ego emerges and the threat’s over. It has a few nice moments, but not the gravitas of the longer Victorian Undead pieces.