The Chronicles of Legion volume 1: Rise of the Vampires


By Fabien Nury, Mathieu Lauffray, Mario Alberti, Zhang Xiaoyu & Tirso , translated by Virgine Selavy (Titan Comics)
ISBN: 978-1-78276-093-1

We’ve all been in love with vampires since the golden age of Victorian Gothic and it’s taken the undead in some extremely odd directions (I personally draw the line at sparkly, immortal kissy-face boy-toys, but to each his own)…

Thankfully our European cousins have a more sanguine view of such matters and innate respect for tradition even when they reinterpret the old classics. Prolific writer Fabien Nury (Stalin’s Death: A Real Soviet History, Once Upon a Time in France, The Master of Benson Gate, Necromancy as well as the epic Je Suis Légion with John Cassaday) began in 2011 a generational saga which put a new spin on the legend whilst keeping a steady eye on the tone of what has gone before…

Les Chroniques de Legion was illustrated by round-robin art-team Mathieu (Star Wars, Long John Silver) Lauffray, Mario (Nathan Never, Morgana, assorted DC covers) Alberti, the enigmatic Zhang Xiaoyu & Tirso Cons (Eye of the Devil, Le Manoir murmurs) and opens here (in good old English) in 1476 as barbaric warlord Vlad Tepes finally falls before the overwhelming armies of the invading Moslem horde.

His stubborn Transylvania a crushed and broken province, the infamous leader had been dragged from the arms of his favourite concubine and beheaded by exultant general Selim Bey. Working for the invaders, Vlad’s despised and treacherous brother Radu knew that the story was not over yet…

As the victorious Turk ravished his despised enemy’s beloved, Dracula’s implacable sibling rival was too late to stop his brother’s malign blood invading the Moslem’s body and eating his devout mind. In an instant Selim Bey’s was gone, overwritten by the undying Impaler…

Nor could Radu not stop the horror escaping and after “Selim” murdered the Sultan and vanished, the Transylvanian turncoat endured all the anger and hatred of the Ottomans. Of course since his blood was just as accursed as Vlad’s, Radu’s story didn’t end with his body’s death either…

In 1521 Vlad was on the move once more, inhabiting the body of Gabriella Del La Fuente. This recent orphan was travelling to the New World, contracted to marry the audacious conquistador Hernan Torres. A flower of the aristocracy, her perfect beauty was only marred by the strange red mark on the back of her neck – a blemish shared with her recently-departed father Victor and a long-dead Turk named Selim Bey…

She had no idea Radu had reached the Americas first and transformed them to a hell of his own devising. The other brother had sustained his own arcane life by equally esoteric means, only in his case the intellect was scattered and diminished by the swarm of rats who consumed him for the longest time…

In Russia in 1812, an undying warrior sprit was wearing French Hussar Armand Malachie. As Napoleon’s broken armies fled before the vengeful Cossacks, he convinced his faithful subordinates Kholya, Stern, Hartmann and Feraud to desert with him. Detouring to the Wallachian Mountains they hunted for valuable loot Armand had heard about: the Lost Treasure of Vlad Dracula Tepes

It was all a lie. The true reason for the diversion was that Dracula sensed far-distant Radu had allowed an unprecedented atrocity to be created and the time had come to end their infinitely extended vendetta forever…

London, 1887: elderly lawyer Morris Webster contacts friendless, antisocial clerk and gambling addict Victor Douglas Thorpe with an offer that will forever liberate the morose wastrel and ne’er-do-well from the drudgery of his impoverished Whitechapel life.

For reasons inexplicable, Thorpe has been selected by immensely rich aristocratic recluse Lord Byron Cavendish to inherit all his lands and properties… upon successful conclusion of a personal interview, of course…

To Be Continued…

Lavishly presented in an oversized (211 x 282mm) full-colour hardback, evocatively illustrated and told through contiguous strands in many concurrent times, this epic, intoxicatingly absorbing horror mosaic depicts a constant battle between two remorseless foes inextricably linked by blood to grip and delight lovers of all things dark and demonic…
The Chronicles of Legion and all contents © Éditions Glénat 2011. Translated edition © Titan Comics, 2014.