And now it's time to finish out the Apocalypse/Dracula mini-series... This post'll be looking at the final two issues of that mini-series.
X-Men: Apocalypse/Dracula #3 & 4(June & July 2006):
Summary: Apocalypse, Ozymandias, Van Helsing and Starsmore return to Clan Akkaba's home base and find nobody there except for the corpse of one of the clan's stronger members and the brain-addled brother(Frederick Slade) of Akkaba's former leader and current vampire. While Apocalypse is scoping out the house, he is jumped by his former Akkaba followers, who have all been turned into vampires by Dracula and Akkaba's former leader, Hamilton Slade. Hamilton taunts Apocalypse and attacks him, but discovers that his mutant/vampire powers are no match for Apocalypse. Apocalypse goes to finish Hamilton off, but is jumped by a few dozen of his former followers. The mutant/vampires are too much for Apocalypse so Van Helsing and Starsmore lend a hand and manage to get Apocalypse away from the angry vampire mob. Before the vampire mob can pull together a second attack, Fredrick surprisingly teleports Apocalypse's group away from the battle, back to his abandoned childhood home. While at the house, the group prepares their defenses for the inevitable vampire attack, and manage to defeat the vampires when they do strike, relying on the sunrise to help them stem the tide of angry mutant/vampires. From there, Apocalypse and company head back to Akkaba's headquarters and stake all of the now sleeping vampires present, with the notable exception of Hamilton, who had his coffin moved to Transylvania. Apocalypse reveals to his shocked allies that he had been bitten by a vampire, most likely Dracula himself, during the earlier battle, and as such knew that Dracula had retreated back to Transylvania. Van Helsing warns Apocalypse against facing Dracula since Apocalypse could very well fall under Dracula's sway, but Apocalypse doesn't want to hear that bunk and has Fredrick teleport himself and his allies directly to Transylvania. Dracula sends a mess of lesser vampires and loyal humans at Apocalypse and company, but Apocalypse angrily tears through this nuisance, demanding to face Dracula. Dracula arrives and taunts Apocalypse by sending rats, bats and wolves after him, telling Apocalypse that he wasn't worth Dracula's attention, much like how Apocalypse dismissed Dracula 400 years earlier. Apocalypse literally blows the vermin away and Dracula invites Apocalypse to face him one-on-one at his castle. Apocalypse and his forces advance on the castle, and while Apocalypse heads to the courtyard to deal with Dracula, Van Helsing, Starsmore and Ozymandias are teleported into Dracula's castle where they begin to burn it down. They are met by Hamilton, who easily bests them and prepares to bite Starsmore, at least until Fredrick reaches over, grabs Hamilton's head and teleports it away. As for the main event, Dracula manages to force Apocalypse to kneel to him(!) due to the earlier bite Apocalypse suffered, and tells Apocalypse that he planned on keeping Apocalypse around for all of eternity to serve as his slave since Apocalypse's blood was granting Dracula extra strength. Before Dracula can snack on Apocalypse again, Van Helsing arrives on the scene and splashes Dracula in the face with some holy water, allowing Apocalypse the opportunity to impale and then behead Dracula, ending their battle. With that taken care of, Apocalypse heads off to hibernate for a few years, Van Helsing heads to Canada to look into Wendigo sightings, Starsmore kicks his opium addiction and Ozymandias sets a hooker up to get knocked up by Fredrick Slade, since Ozymandias could see the potential in Fredrick's bloodline. Oh, and the last name of the hooker? Ferguson... And that my friends, is a wrap.
Thoughts: For what was basically a throwaway mini-series starring Apocalypse and Dracula, back before vampires became the pop culture sensation they are today, this was a solid mini-series. Sure, some parts dragged a bit(especially the third issue), but the set-up and ending issues were quite satisfying. I mean we all knew that Apocalypse was going to come out the victor here, but seeing Dracula get the upper-hand on him, and then watching Apocalypse get saved by a mere human was pretty cool. On top of that, we learn from this mini that Chamber and Blink both have some of Apocalypse's blood in them, since Clan Akkaba's membership consisted of people from Apocalypse's bloodline. That's something that SHOULD be looked into someday, but probably won't be seeing as that Blink and Chamber really aren't doing anything of notice lately(although that may be changing with Blink). What more can I say? Would I go out of my way to recommend this mini-series? No, probably not, but if the recent X-Men vs Vampires event didn't satisfy your craving for mutant on vampire action, this mini may be just the thing for you!
Score: 7 out of 10.Yep, for a few moments, Apocalypse was Dracula's bitch!