Hello, my friends. With our thirst for the spirit of the season nearing its zenith, so too does the supernatural terror around us. As such, I welcome you back to our continuing look at the mini-series known as…
So far, Lord Belmont’s newfound marriage gets interrupted by the return of Dracula. Teaming up with a trio of Totoyans, he acquires his family’s weapon (a whip called the “Vampire Killer”) and unites them to take down the Lord of Darkness for good. However, he leaves his wife Illyana and the young Viktor Totoyan behind for their safety, but brings everyone else (including his butler Deimos) into battle. Not wanting to stay on the sidelines, Lady Belmont and the young lad head out on their own and actually reach Dracula’s castle. However, things take a turn for the worse when Viktor gets his neck bitten by the infamous fiend and Illyana gets kidnapped as well. With the stakes raised, we now reach our featured issue called…
Published on June 22, 2005, this penultimate entry would end up selling 5,349 copies upon its initial publication. How will this series set up its inevitable climax? Let’s dive in and find out.
Issue 4 opens with Christopher trying to run after Dracula in order to save his captured wife. Just then, Pascha dives on him since she’s just prevented him from unknowingly running off a cliff. However, Belmont isn’t given much time to gather himself since he and Pascha are horrifyingly shocked to see Viktor rise up and try to attack them.
Just then, an arrow comes in and strikes him through the neck as Deimos and Gaspar arrive. As Viktor flies towards them, Totoyan pushes the butler aside and lets his undead grandson bite his neck.
Fortunately, this tactic works since he’s able to take out a cross and place it on Viktor’s face. With the sting of purity burning on his face, he’s forced to flee for his life. Afterwards, Pascha tearfully berates her grandfather for needlessly sacrificing himself and for placing a huge duty towards protecting the Belmont family on her shoulders. Christopher comes in and tries to heal his bite marks with Holy Water, but Gaspar smacks the vile away as it shatters on a nearby rock. He explains that even though he’s slowly becoming a vampire, he’s now able to see what Dracula sees.
Over at a cave, Illyana is chained to the wall as the fiend admires her feisty attitude. After she says that her husband will defeat him, Dracula dismisses her comment and only regards it as a false sense of hope.
Meanwhile, Gaspar senses the dark lord’s actions as he informs our heroic group that Illyana is still alive. Unfortunately, Viktor’s bite has finally taken hold as he fully becomes a vampire. Not only that, but Viktor himself smashes through the window in order to bite his sister’s neck.
Fortunately, Christopher wraps his whip around his former friend’s tongue as Viktor collapses in pain. Afterwards, he gives Deimos a silver knife as the butler wraps it onto an arrow and fires. Suddenly, Pascha catches it and tells them that she has to be the one who delivers the killshot. As such, she stabs Viktor as her brother regains control over his body before withering into dust.
Afterwards, Gaspar tries to attack. Fortunately, Christopher and Deimos manage to pin him to the wall with some arrows & knives. Belmont then asks him where his wife is being held, but Gaspar refuses to talk. From there, Issue 4 ends with Pascha threatening to roast her former grandfather in the sunlight if he doesn’t cough up the location.
The action is once again very minimal here, though this time it sets Christopher up to face Dracula with two less allies by his side. During this process, we apparently learn of a power that one acquires when becoming a fellow vampiric minion: Being able to see and hear what Dracula himself is doing. I’ve never heard of this power before and it does come off as a bit convenient to the plot, since it does let our heroes know that Illyana hasn’t been bitten (more than likely to be used in order to force Christopher’s hand). More than likely, this ability isn’t used in other vampire stories since it would only be used by one who would still have a shot at redemption at some kind and that there’s usually no cure for vampirism. It’s mainly here to give some plot to a series that’s been somewhat light in delivering an intriguing story past a basic good vs. evil story. Once again, the artwork is mainly solid when it comes to the characters. On the other hand, the backgrounds are next to non-existent. Mostly, the comic consists of panels with a one-color gradient plane of existence with the occasional motion lines when an action occurs. This seems to add to the pace of this series where each issue could be completed in under five minutes. Because dialogue is fairly light in each scene, it makes the story breeze right through without too much detail to acquire. Despite that and the fairly light action, it was never a dull read. I was still invested in these characters and wanted to know how this plight was going to get resolved. Even though this comic book continues to have a fast pace with little going for it in terms of plot just like the rest of the series, there’s still some enjoyment to be found here whether you’re a fan of Castlevania or horror in general.
Overall, this is a fairly OK penultimate chapter to the mini-series. While continuing to be fairly sparse in terms of having a plot with a substantial amount of detail, the artwork continues to shine throughout and helps make what little action is here carry some degree of importance in the narrative. It should be interesting how the finale will be handled for this five-part tale, but this mainly completes the build-up that’s been brewing through the story. Until next time, see you around the C-Cubed!
Castlevania (created by Hitoshi Akamatsu) is owned by Konami.