Well, Rob Kelly and Dan O’Connor put a slight spin on Bram Stroker’s classic tale but don’t worry, it’s one that you will like (I promise). Give a warm “velcome” to Ace Kilroy, a daily webcomic strip that launched on Halloween night, 2011 (well-played, fellas). Ace is a World War I veteran, decorated soldier, friend to President Franklin Roosevelt, and a charming, every day hero. But wait? What does Ace have to do with Dracula?
Like I said, “Velcome, Ace Kilroy.”
Our Story Thus Far
In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt has learned that the Third Reich has plans to try and turn Count Dracula–who is real, not just a character from movies and books–onto the side of the Nazis for the upcoming war.
Realizing that the Nazis would be unstoppable with this kind of supernatural might on their side, FDR hires WWI veteran and solider of fortune Ace Kilroy to go on a secret mission to Transylvania to find and kill Dracula!
On the way, a mysterious force takes control of Ace’s plane, causing the pilot to crash the plane, killing himself and almost killing Ace!After landing in the Carpathian Mountains, Ace follows the trail of Ned Steward, the American agent who was sent there previously and did not come back. After discovering Ned’s journal, Ace learns more about what’s really going on.
Ace meets a young girl named Anca, who claimed to be lost in the woods. Following right behind Anca are her two older sisters, Dorina and Mara, who quickly reveal themselves to be vampires. Ace, while startled, manages to kill Mara, only to be knocked out by an unseen foe. Shortly thereafter, Ace wakes up inside Castle Dracula, which has been taken over by the Nazis and used for grisly, blood-soaked experiments.
While imprisoned, Ace meets the actual Cound Dracula as well as Col. Krup, the officer in charge. Ace quickly sees that the Nazis treat Dracula with disdain, and that Dracula seems too weak to be able to rebel against his unwelcome guests. Just when Ace is about to be experimented on, Count Dracula steps in and attacks Krup, escorting Ace out of Castle Dracula, all while evading Nazi bullets.
Just before escaping, however, Ace sees that Anca–who is not a vampire–is also a prisoner of the Nazis. Realizing she is perhaps the only true innocent in this whole nightmarish situation, he tries to rescue her, but is forcibly stopped by Dracula before Krup’s men shoot Ace to death.
Forming an uneasy truce, Ace and Count Dracula return to the local village where Anca and her sisters came from. It’s here that Ace learns a horrible truth: that the entire village exists for Dracula to have an unending food supply, with virtually every villager sporting two bite marks on their neck.
While Ace is horrified and disgusted, he chooses to go along with Dracula to fight their common enemy: the Nazis. After talking to Anca’s grandparents, who beg Ace to return their granddaughter home, he and Dracula make their way to a nearby river, a body of water not found on any map.
Dracula reveals that while wooden stakes–traditionally known as the weapon of choice against vampires–are no harm to him or his kind, they are fatal once they are “consecrated” in the waters of the river. Armed with a few guns and a bag full of stakes, Ace and Dracula return to the castle, ready to stop the Nazis’ plan of creating an army of vampires under their control, and rescue Anca.
Upon getting back inside Dracula’s castle, the two of them split up. Ace headed for the radio room and knocked out the Nazi who was relaying reports to his superiors. After almost being killed by another vampire, this one almost completely animalistic, Ace has found his way back to the room he was imprisoned in, still filled with victims of various grisly experiments.
After discovering a bloody roomful of Dracula’s victims, Ace found Anca and freed her. Unfortunately, waiting for him was Col. Krup, who has become a vampire thanks to Dracula’s attack earlier. Just as Krup was about have Ace shot, Anca bit one of the Nazis’ hands, causing enough of a diversion to allow Anca to escape, and Ace to kill Col. Krup and his henchmen.
Ace, realizing he has lost track of Anca, is frantically searching the castle for her again.
–March 19, 2012
Not only is this creative endeavor a brilliant homage to both old-fashioned vampire stories and Dick Tracey-eqsue missions, but it takes us back to the daily comic strips people used to read in the newspapers that were predecessors to comic books. Kelly and O’Connor have given us a great combination of horror, adventure, humor, and nostalgia. Ace Kilroy was nominated for an Eagle Award for Favorite Web-Based Comic. Fans and supporters can own a hard copy of Kilroy’s mission in Transylvania by pledging today on Ace’s Kickstarter page. Kelly and O’Conner are giving pledgers some pretty sweet deals so be sure to sign up and be one of “Ace’s Allies!” In the meantime, get ready for Kilroy’s next mission, this time with Frankenstein! Happy days are here again, folks! Or at least they will be when Ace Kilroy re-launches on August 6th.
Thanks for joining Mr. Kilroy and me on the very first Own It! With Yenny here on ComicBooked.com!