Comic books are a historically neglected media in pop culture. But you would be surprised how often they influence, and are influenced by, other entertainment mediums such as movies, video games and TV.

They also tend to respond to pop culture trends by doing the exact opposite of what is popular in a genre.
Take vampires, for example.

Vampires used to be feared creatures of the night, stalking their human prey and feeding on blood. Recently, they have become the object of teenage girls’ fantasies.

Obviously this whole vampire fetish has spun out from the Twilight movies and HBO’s True Blood series, the latter of which had its season finale on Sunday, Sept. 12.

In the Marvel Comics’ crossover story X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Saga, the mutant superhero team known as the X-Men find themselves up against an army of vampires who want to turn them into bloodsuckers so they will help take over the world.

The vampires are led by Dracula’s son, Xarus, who killed his father so he could rally the various vampire factions together and use them to begin his war against humans.

Cyclops, leader of the X-Men, decides that the only way to put a stop to the vampires is to resurrect Dracula (no one stays dead in comics for long) and use him to bring an end to his son’s reign of terror.

How is that story not better than the Twilight movies?

Okay, maybe it lacks a little depth, but at least it is not a teenage vampire fighting a teenage werewolf for the love of a teenage girl. Marvel’s vampires are nothing like the pussy romantic Twilight vampires.

These vampires are suicide-bombing San Francisco, the current home of the X-Men, to turn humans into their kind. (When they blow up, their blood splatters on humans and infects them.)

Even better than vampires attacking humans and mutants is seeing the X-Men kick a little undead ass. One of the greatest parts of the story is getting to see Wolverine slice the heads off of a few dozen vampires.

Marvel Comics and X-Men writer Victor Gischler deserve kudos for turning vampires back into bloodthirsty creatures of the night and not continuing to portray them as a teenage girl’s wet dream.

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Saga, issues 1-3 are now on sale.