Dracula’s story remains Untold…NO LONGER.
It’s Halloween! Time for spookiness and scariness. And what’s spookier and scarier than grand master of the vampires, Vlad The Impaler, AKA Alucard, AKA “Funky Jenson the Magic Fang Monster”, AKA Dracula?
Dracula was originally created in October 1971 to promote a chocolate breakfast cereal, although back then he was known as “Count Chocula”. Bram Stoker, a known time traveller, then took this idea and ran with it, using the concept in his 1897 novel Dracula (pronounced “Drak-oo-ler”), with some aspects of the character taking inspiration from 15th century Romanian general Vlad the Impaler.
“This’ll be a cakewalk,” I thought to myself, sitting down to write what I’m sure will be an informative and hilarious article about Batman and Dracula. “I’m sure these two have fought hundreds of time, there’s loads to draw from, I’ll probably even have time to go get ice-cream later!” I continued, clearing a space on my shelf for the Pulitzer I was destined to get for writing a stupid pop culture internet article.
The two titans have not met as often as you might think! There were two unofficial live action encounters in the 1960s – 1964’s “Batman Dracula”, directed by Andy Warhol, and “Batman Fights Dracula” in 1967, directed by Leody M. Diaz. Both of these films seems to have been lost forever, as I could find no way to watch them, which is a shame, because look at this poster:
Perhaps the only Batman to feature what appears to be an Egyptian hieroglyph in his emblem.
The next time Namtab fought Alucard was in 1978, in an episode of Challenge of the Superfriends titled “Attack of the Vampire”. Dracula wakes up after a hundred year sleep and decides to IMMEDIATELY TURN EVERYONE ON EARTH INTO A VAMPIRE, without even a coffee or anything. Now that’s productivity!
Luckily he has a bag of cocaine.
Because this is a kid’s cartoon, he does this with some weird powder and laser eyes, which LUCKILY Batman and Robin can deflect.
“Awwwwww snap, Robin!”
It quickly emerges that laserproof capes and Superman is called in.
The trouble alert loses points for the perspective, but gets extra points for the exclamation point.
Unfortunately, Superman doesn’t have a laserproof cape, and is turned into a vampire himself.
To be fair, this is kind of awesome.
The Wonder Twins try to help, but as ever, the Wonder twins are useless, turning into a wooly mammoth and some ice water to take on vampires, instead of, say, garlic or stakes or a nuclear bomb or something.
“WHY DID WE THINK THIS WOULD BE EFFECTIVE.”
Batman and Robin find the cure for Vampirism in a cave, where they also find a giant spider which shows up for literally less than five seconds and then is never heard from again. Frankly, it’s thr highlight of the entire episode.
This is literally the only shot of the spider, I could have done with a whole episode focused on his story.
They cure Superman, who proceeds to infiltrate Dracula’s ranks to defeat him…by disguising himself as a vampire. Batman, the lynchpin of this entire plan, offers up his Bat-make-up to help disguise Superman as the thing he was thirty seconds prior. Yes, Batman carries make-up.
Wonder Woman is also in the scene, but presumably her make-up doesn’t bring out Superman’s eyes like Bruce’s does.
Anyway, they defeat Dracula. Are you looking for a review of a Superfriends episode from 1978? Jeez, get your priorities in order here, buddy.
The next time Batman fought Dracula was in the 1991 Elseworlds graphic novel “Batman & Dracula: Red Rain”, written by Doug Moench and pencilled by Kelley Jones. Red Rain is often very highly regarded, making many “best Batman comics ever” type listicles that you’d find on excellent media sites such as http://lasertimepodcast.com
My favourite thing about Red Rain is the size of Batman’s ears, I love when artists take creative liberties with how to show his cowl.
May have taken some creative liberties of my own on that last one.
I’m not gonna recap Red Rain here: go read it, it’s great. A really creepy gothicy story for you to read under the covers under torchlight. I will offer an out of context panel for you though, as a reward for reading this far:
If this were about Twilight instead of Dracula, a thousand slash-fictions would have just been born.
In 2005, a straight to DVD animated movie was released, titled “The Batman vs Dracula”, or as my DVD copy would call it, “Batman Contro Dracula”.
Batman has really pointy fingers.
This feature is set in the continuity of The Batman, the cartoon series that came between Batman The Animated Series and Batman: The Brave and the Bold – you know, the ones you like. I think the series is mostly remembered for being the one in which Joker had dreadlocks for some reason.
They’re either dreads or some weird Sonic the Hedgehog tribute.
In a world with a wide range of varied and diversed Batman related media, Batman Contro Dracula falls squarely in the middle. Highlights include a party at Wayne Manor, where Wayne Tech is hoping to raise funding for a machine that stores sunlight. (FORESHADOWING??!?!?!? Yes.) Dr Alucard shows up at the party, and is offered a garlic shrimp by Bruce. On-the-noseness, thy name is Batman Contro Dracula.
Another subtle clue for Bruce is that he’s dressed EXACTLY LIKE DRACULA AT THE PARTY.
There’s also a pretty cool fight between Batman and a vampire Joker late on, but overall the film is by the numbers, more interesting as an idea than in actuality. It’s not terrible, worth a watch if you have nothing better to do, overall a C+.
So the two have not met as often as you might assume, but the shocking alarming spoiler for them all is: Batman wins.
But that’s not really a shock, is it? To say that Batman wins the fight in a Batman story is like saying that a Fast and Furious film will have cars in it, or that a Stephen King novel will feature words.
To really determine who is better between Batman and Dracula, we must take into account their common fashion choice, their capes. The capes contribute to the iconic silouhettes of these characters, making them the dark, brooding figures of the night that they are. Ladies and gentlemen, we must ask ourselves…
WHO WORE IT BETTER?
Here he see Batman donning a classic blue cape from the Wayne collection, giving him confidence and style, a surefire hit for any night prowling the roofs of Gotham. Dracula’s cape, by comparison, is clichéd and old fashioned, and will impress no-one. The red lining is a nice element, but only serves to highlight his crossed red eyes.
The latest addition to Dracula’s wardrobe is this black cape, which seems as if it is almost trying to escape from him. Lackluster and forgettable, I doubt anyone will remember this look even a year from now. Batman, however, shows elegance in a sassy black number inspired by the collections of 1939, but still retaining a timelessness.
That’s right Robin, Batman is a menace – to BAD TASTE! Proving he’s not a one trick bat, Batman shows us a bold, shocking piece from his collection, saying “I am vengeance, I am the night, I am FASHIONABLE!” Dracula’s cape seems to lack any kind of colour, and struggles to even forge an opinion in this writer. Even the lady he seems to be wooing does not seem impressed, as she idly applauds a safe, but ultimately dull, fashion choice.
Here, Dracula chooses to ditch the cape altogether, and his ensemble looks like it’s from the Victorian era – it’s like he’s not even trying. Batman looks modern, a cape for the 21st century, sleekly fitting him into his surroundings. Even Dracula seems to admit defeat on the rooftop where this was taken.
As Batman struts down the Batwalk, his cape gives him confidence and style, despite it’s simplicity. Meanwhile, that isn’t even a picture of Dracula, it’s just a jar of mustard. Dracula, are you even trying anymore? I think it’s clear, Batman wins.