Since shortly after its debut, I came to the conclusion that Boom Studios' Dracula: The Company of Monsters would be better served as a limited series instead of an ongoing book. And at some point, the ongoing comic became a defacto limited series set to end at 12 issues. In theory, you might expect the final issue to wrap up all of the major plotlines and close out the story in style.
While there is some closure, this book doesn't read like an ending. Instead it feels like there was supposed to be an issue 13 next month.
At the end of the previous issue, Evan had a magic bullet of his own creation in his gun and only one chance to use it on either his mad Uncle Conrad, who started this mess by orchestrating his change into a vampire and destroyed Evan's life in the process… or Dracula, the vampire lord who is fated to bring about the apocalypse. It's not a big spoiler to say that Evan choose Conrad's death over Dracula's, even though I suspect that killing Dracula would have destroyed both of them.
The rest of the issue largely deals with the fallout of Evan's choice and serves as an epilogue of sorts as he starts to rebuild his life. There's a great moment early in the issue in which Evan comes across his former fiancee turned vampire, Corinna as she is slowly dying on the battlefield. Evan actually offers to stay with her until the end, but she rebuffs him in death in the same way that she probably did when they were together.
Evan's actions also alienate him from his would-be new love interest, Marta and her group of vampire hunters. In the end, it's clear that Evan was using her and her team as pawns in the war between Dracula and Conrad. Kurt Busiek and Daryl Gregory crafted an entertaining story in this series, but it's hard to buy Evan's colder demeanor in this issue. It's certainly understandable why he would eventually end up this way. But the powerful and even forceful Evan of this issue doesn't seem to fully track with the character that we've seen from the beginning.
Artist Scott Godlewski is a little more consistent with his human characters in this issue, but his faces are still highly stylized with a look that suggests that everyone has a weird overbite. Last issue, some of his action sequences were a little hard to follow, but without any action in this issue, Godlewski doesn't get to really show off any artistic flare and some of the pages seem boring from a visual perspective.
The last conversation between Dracula and Evan effectively closes out the series. But it's clear that it could have gone on beyond this. As Evan points out, he may be the one man who can destroy Dracula. But that's not what he wants. Instead, his desire surprises both Dracula and himself. As he put it to Marta earlier in the issue, Evan isn't a good person and he doesn't want to be. However, he doesn't want to be a monster either.
At the end, Evan is still alive and somewhat overwhelmed by that fact. I would have been a lot happier if this had been a definitive end to the story, but the larger issue of Dracula remains unsolved and now even Marta may be among Evan's enemies. The story didn't wrap up as much as it simply stops. It didn't hamper my enjoyment of the book too much, but I think that I would have liked to have seen what Evan would have done in the future.
Crave Online Rating: 8 /10