Tag Archive: Y2K


Review by C.J. Bunce

It was such a big deal to prepare for, and then it was over in an instant never to be heard from again.  That’s Y2K, or the Millennium Bug, and it’s a fun time to look back on especially if it’s part of that richly detailed Anno Dracula universe created by British author Kim Newman (who we interviewed six years ago for Halloween here at borg).  The third story in Newman’s Christina Light arc (after the comic series Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem and novel Anno Dracula: One Thousand Monsters), Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju gathers a team of real and unreal, dead and undead, at a giant skyscraper in Tokyo on December 31, 1999, for the New Year’s party to end all New Year’s parties.

Newman is the master of world-building and mash-ups, and he doesn’t disappoint in this new October release.  In what horror universe is both John Blutarski a U.S. Senator partying in Japan (remember John Belushi’s character in Animal House?), the Apollo 13 movie included the first vampire astronaut, and Charlie’s Angels reconvene years later?  Anno Dracula continues its mix of historic characters of pop culture and politics and those throwback tangent characters from literature, TV, and movies.  In Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju readers can remember what it was like to “party like it’s 1999” with an alternate history where Dracula and vampires have always been real.

One of many tangent characters in Kim Newman’s latest Anno Dracula novel.

Newman includes so many Easter eggs in his books that finding them all–probably impossible for anyone that isn’t Kim Newman–should be part of some kind of international contest.

The New Year’s party of this story is in honor of Christina Light, famed vampire princess.  But will she show, and will anyone even get through the labyrinthine skyscraper to attend on the 88th floor by midnight?  Who is the shadowy Jun Zero?  Is Y2K really a bug, or is it a person, or worse: that daikaiju in the title is the name of the tower in Tokyo that houses the offices of an international conglomerate, but it also means “big monsters.”  So get ready for anything to happen, including the appearance of a cyborg and maybe even Dracula himself, as distinguished guests, leaders of finance, tech, and culture, are held hostage by yakuza assassins and Transylvanian mercenaries.  Enter vampire schoolgirl Nezumi–agent of the Diogenes Club–who finds herself and her trusty sword named “Goodnight Kiss” pitted against the deadliest creatures the world has ever known.

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We haven’t encountered anything like the Mayan prophecy of the world’s end since New Year’s Day 2000 and 2001, the Millenium Bug and Y2K.  The Mayan text the Popul Vuh established that, based on their linear calendar, we live in something called the “fourth world.”  The fourth world will have reached the end of its 13th b’ak’tun (a time frame of about 400 years), or Mayan date 13.0.0.0.0, on December 21, 2012.  Scholars or pseudoscientists (depending on who you believe) suggested that this will coincide with the end of the world (or alternately, the start of some new positive era).  If you haven’t read any of the discussions behind this, it is at a minimum interesting, and at worst, odd and quirky.  I read the Popul Vuh as part of an ancient Latin American history course I took in college and as ancient texts go in is very interesting, and still required reading in colleges around the globe.

So… it’s the perfect time for Dynamite Comics to have a crossover event featuring most of its properties and public domain characters that has as a story element the end of the world coming this December, courtesy of the ancient Mayans.  Called Prophecy, Issue #1 is out and it’s a lot of fun.  So far it is more of what I hoped for with Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the graphic novel mash-up of Allan Quatermain, Dorian Gray, Captain Nemo, Moriarty, Dr. Jekyll, Fu Manchu, Tom Sawyer and others.  Of course, unlike his forced change of DC characters to new made-up creations for his Watchmen series, with the League, Moore used public domain characters and avoided all that.  With Prophecy, writer Ron Marz and artist Walter Geovani use some of these vary same characters plus they add in modern characters like Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Purgatory.  Advance press from Dynamite reveals that the tale will include Pantha, Herbert West the Reanimator, Allan Quatermain, Athena, and Dorian Gray, too.

Issue #1 begins with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson investigating a murder.  The weapon that caused the death was an ancient Mayan dagger from the year 632.  And the dagger has disappeared.  Enter Red Sonja, soon to be the next sacrifice by this ancient people.  She chases her captor through time with the aid of the dagger and to the year 2012, where she encounters Vampirella in the forest, working with Dracula himself.

One excellent two-page spread has Geovani revealing a time travel voyage of Red Sonja, including the Three Musketeers, Edgar Allan Poe, Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Abe Lincoln and a host of others who will hopefully make an appearance in this series.

If you like mash-ups, this one looks to have a lot of territory it can cover, presumably in only the short span of the next 5-6 months that we have left, or, um, before we know one way or the other where December 12, 2012 will fit into Dynamite’s crossover series.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com