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My son loves graphic novels - which are really nothing more than glorified comic books. In fact you can buy this story as six separate comic books, but it often works out far less expensive to just buy the graphic novel. At the moment this will cost you £9.09 new with used copies being only slightly less, but I picked this up for £6 if I remember correctly - I always wait for a bargain. Individual comics in this series sell for £3 and it never fails that at least one issue will be difficult to find and end up costing a fortune. This book collects X-Men: Curse of the Mutants 1 - 6.
Originally, comic books were intended for children. This isn't really the case anymore, and after learning that one of the "graphic novels" my son was interested in was meant to have a very graphic rape scene, I've made it a point to read the books before giving them to my 7 year old child. This book does appear to be intended for adults. There is one scene in which a very shapely young lady is pictured in undergarments - but in all honesty you don't see anymore than you with many of the female superheroes in costume. There is violence and bloodshed but in I think most people who buy a comic with Dracula and the undead would be dissapointed if there wasn't any violence. Vampires dropping in for a cup of tea just doesn't make good reading material and lord knows we have enough lovey dovey romantic vampires now. I have to admit - I'm happy to see the vampires as bloodthirsty killers again.
As mentioned, I do feel this book was written for adults, and the story line is quite good. It will appeal to many children as well. This is a bit more frightening then the average comic book and will not suit every child. My own children are not at all worried about mythical beasts. The only books that have frightened them have been those that mention mass extinctions, and to a lesser extent - world wars. They have a clear grasp of fact and fiction and so are not affected by this,. But I have to admit - at the same age- this might have given me nightmares. I can only recommend this book for children if they are not the type to be frightened by fictional creatures, and each parent must judge that for themselves. I do realise many people would feel a 7 year old is far too young to read this - but I feel that at least he is reading, and if he finds books that really interest him, and show him how exciting reading can be - that he will have the best possible chance of growing up both able and willing to read.
This story begins with a suicide attack by a very frightening looking vampire. The resulting illustrations are quite well drawn and rather graphic. The intention of the attack was to spread the virus which turns humans into vampires. One of the first infected is Jubilee a mutant associated with X-Men - although I had not heard of her prior to this book. Dracula is dead and a new lord of the vampires has arisen, Xarus. It seems the young vampire lord is far more ambitious than the old - uniting the vampires into a single, unstoppable nation.
But of course the X-Men must stop this new scourge before humanity is wiped out, or becomes just another link in the food chain. The problem is these creatures may well be more powerful than the X-men - and there certainly are a lot more of them. So how do defeat the undead --- something about the devil you know being better than the one you don't comes into play here, but I won't go into any more detail as I hate spoilers.
Some of the main characters featured in this story are Jubilee, Pixie, Cyclops, Wolverine and Blade as well as a female character named Emma. The illustrations are really top notch in this book. There is a dark tint to most of them , but it suits the story well. The characters are well drawn, with plenty of expression. The girls are of course a bit too perfectly proportioned, but that is the norm for comic books. The vampires are by far the best part of the illustrations . They are absolutely hideous. My son really enjoyed this book and has become quite fond of the X Men as a result, even buying a Cyclops action figure. I can't say that I would buy this for myself, I prefer ordinary novels, but that is no fault of the author or illustrator. I did enjoy reading this, and I give it 5 out of 5 stars both for story and for art.