The review copy of Stoker and Wells: Order of the Golden Dawn came in the mail and I was stoked. I love Dracula. I love Time Machine. I love both writers and to see the imagined meeting between the two is something I look forward to. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get started!
Stoker and Wells–two lethal weapons
The story is interesting–a ‘What if?’ if you will. What if two of the biggest influences on horror met? What if Dracula and the Time Machine were real? What sort of stain would that leave on someone? The premise explores those fundamental questions and more.
The character of Stoker seems to be that of the older proper statesman. The forever guardian of the arts whose attention to detail is put to use to prop another artist up. He’s the artist who never let himself flourish–never took that big leap forward. He’s Murtaugh (this will make sense in a bit). We see him opposite of Wells in more than just screen time.
Wells looks like a Casanova type (almost literally since the introduction to him is an homage to the David Tennant Casanova). He is the hyper brash counterpart to Stoker–he’s the Riggs.
You put them together and you get a lethal weapon ride to the future. For the most part, this works. I loved the dynamic between the two and the growth they show at the end. The art goes a long way to make this happen (as seen below, looking at Stoker you know a lot about him just by the lines). The story line is interesting as a ‘What if?’ and it brings enough room for sequels. All is not rosy in time travel, though.
Good but some quirks…
Some parts of the story have somewhat fatal logic flaws that stop the flow of the text. For example, I can buy that Stoker is a Murtaugh and Wells is a Riggs, but the Casanova homage is a bit far. Other plot points like the albino eyed underground dwellers being able to see perfectly OK in the light stood out, too. The throwback towards Dragonlance plots for the Dracula line seemed as a forced ‘wrap things up nicely’ style that didn’t exactly work.
Graphically, some of the aspect ratios seem a bit drawn out, but I did like the use of the gutters and white space. Some of the action sequences seemed awkward but I’m not sure if that’s a graphic issue or writing. For example, the multitude of creatures attacking two rather ordinary humans results in the humans rather easily dispatching everyone. I think if we saw the pair have a real challenge to get through and not walk away nearly unscathed it would have put more weight on the story and that could have been done graphically.
Overall, it’s a good–but not perfect–fun romp. I enjoyed it and I’m grateful to the team sending me a review copy. I think they have a good series on their hands and one that can introduce Dracula and the Time Machine to a whole new generation of readers. I give this 3.5 out of 5 Cthulhu.
Go check it out for yourself and let me know what you think. It’s worth the price tag as the quality of work and storytelling are both well done. You can pick up the printed copy here.(3.5 / 5)
THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE STORY OF BRAM STOKER AND H.G. WELLS! …give or take 48 hours. In London of 1894, a 20-something screw-up named H.G. Wells and a 40-something theater manager named Bram Stoker meet and have a thrilling, frightening, and extraordinary adventure that causes both men to finally step into the lives they were meant to live! It is this shared journey that leads to the creative inspiration for each writer’s first great success – THE TIME MACHINE and DRACULA!From their amazon page