Review: Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter #1

Mitch Nissen Mitch Nissen
Expert Contributor
October 22nd, 2017

Grew up reading comic books in the 90’s. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel’s cosmic universe are my favorites.

Review: Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter #1
Comics
0
Price:
Outstanding

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On October 22, 2017
Last modified:October 22, 2017

Summary:

Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter #1 continues the story from the cult classic Hammer horror film of the same name. Accessible to new readers, the comic book possesses all the aspects of Hammer’s horror style, the endearing elements of Brian Clemens’ film, and the fast pace feel of modern horror. Dan Abnett, Tom Mandrake, and Sian Mandrake nail this premiere issue in what I hope will result in a long running series.

Price:
Outstanding

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On October 22, 2017
Last modified:October 22, 2017

Summary:

Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter #1 continues the story from the cult classic Hammer horror film of the same name. Accessible to new readers, the comic book possesses all the aspects of Hammer’s horror style, the endearing elements of Brian Clemens’ film, and the fast pace feel of modern horror. Dan Abnett, Tom Mandrake, and Sian Mandrake nail this premiere issue in what I hope will result in a long running series.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter #1 from Titan Comics has hit comic shops everywhere. Written by Dan Abnett and illustrated by Tom Mandrake, the comic sees the long overdue return of the titular Hammer Horror hero in a brand new story picking up where the classic film left off. ComiConverse contributor Mitch Nissen takes a look.

Review: Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter #1

 

“The only man feared by the walking dead!”

So read the tagline for the 1974 Hammer film Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. Released during the final days of Hammer’s horror renaissance, Captain Kronos featured a duo of professional vampire hunters in former soldier Captain Kronos and vampire expert Professor Grost. The pair roll into town, solve the supernatural mystery and slay the youth stealing vampires.

This last September Titan Comics, in association Hammer Comics, released the first issue in a new series resurrecting the long-dormant Captain Kronos for a new adventure.  Written by Dan Abnett with art by Tom Mandrake and colors by Sian Mandrake, this series begins a new adventure for the captain yet retains the same pulp swashbuckling action, British wit, and Hammer horror style so endearing in the film.

Synopsis

Story continues below

While in pursuit of a vampire, Captain Kronos, Professor Grost, and Carla find themselves near the Bordertown of Serechurch. The stench of death permeates the area. The town elders inform Kronos and his crew of the vampire, Slake, who has taken up residence in the slums. As the captain begins the hunt for Slake he discovers that Slake has prepared a deadly welcome for the vampire hunters.

Credit: Titan Comics

The Breakdown

The book opens with a fast-paced kinetic action sequence. Carla, the newest and youngest member of Kronos’ crew, narrates and acts as the eyes of the reader. Through Carla’s perspective, we are shown just how cool Captain Kronos is. Even the peg-legged Professor Grost is viewed with respect and admiration.

One of Dan Abnett’s greatest strengths as a writer is the ability to translate his love and admiration for the characters and material to the page. And he does so again here through the eyes of Carla. Abnett quickly thrusts the reader into the world of Captain Kronos, picking up not long after the events of the film, vampires, and zombies galore.

We’re given a demonstration of Kronos’ skill and a quick and concise introduction to the vampire hunters. The story moves quickly, never stopping long enough to grow stale. The second half of the book sets up what appears to be the central plot of the series and reveals the main antagonist at the end.

To be clear, the book is completely accessible to new readers and those unfamiliar with the film. But to those who know the film, the enjoyment is doubled.

The Art

Tom Mandrake’s pencils are nothing short of wonderful. He channels a style reminiscent of two industry legends: Gene Colan and John Byrne. The human characters possess a John Byrne likeness while the vampires and monsters exhibit an ethereal nightmarish quality similar to Gene Colan’s work on the classic Tomb of Dracula series from Marvel. The combination of styles meld beautifully lending the book a classic comic book visual appeal.

Credit: Titan Comics

Story continues below

Sian Mandrake uses a rather muted and earthen color pallet filled various shades of greys, browns, and dull blues. This color palette lends itself well to a plague-ridden eastern European setting and the gothic horror trademarks of Hammer’s films. And the splashes of bright red blood are all the more striking as a result.

All in all, the book looks great.

About the Film

Written and directed by Brian Clemens, one of the men responsible for the classic British Avengers series, the movie retained a unique charm among Hammer’s films. The film was serious but playful in tone, horrific yet possessed of a dark humor. Kronos and Grost act as a sort of 17th century Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson or rather Van Helsing and Dr. Seward.

All of these aspects are present in Abnett’s writing and Mandrake’s art.

The film was intended to be the first in a new series of movies following the exploits of Kronos and Grost and their battles against the undead. Clemens had apparently written several other breakdowns for future Kronos films but due to Hammer’s financial troubles at the time the following films were never realized.

Now, 43 years later, we are finally able to experience the next chapter in the adventures of Captain Kronos and hopefully there will be more in the future.

The comic book retains all the hallmarks of Hammer’s signature horror style, the elements of Brian Clemens’ film that have made it so endearing, yet possessed of a fast-paced modernization in the vein of Castlevania (a franchise also partly inspired by Captain Kronos and the films of Hammer).

In short, as fan of the film and of horror in general, I couldn’t be happier with this comic book.

What did you think?

Drop us a comment below

Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter #1

  • 4

Outstanding

Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter #1 continues the story from the cult classic Hammer horror film of the same name. Accessible to new readers, the comic book possesses all the aspects of Hammer’s horror style, the endearing elements of Brian Clemens’ film, and the fast pace feel of modern horror. Dan Abnett, Tom Mandrake, and Sian Mandrake nail this premiere issue in what I hope will result in a long running series.

(Visited 239 times, 1 visits today)

Comments are closed.

Yes No