Thursday, August 02, 2018

It's a bazillion degrees out as I write this, so why not take a look at a chiller? From 1991, Tomb of Dracula #1, "Day of Blood! Night of Redemption!" Written by Marv Wolfman, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Al Williamson.

We saw Wolfman and Colan's later book, Curse of Dracula, some years back; but this was their traditional Marvel Dracula from classic Tomb of Dracula. (Colan drew all 70 issues, while Wolfman came on with the seventh issue.) It's both continued from their run, and much, much darker. Actually, the continuity may be a little off--or ignoring other writers and titles use of Dracula--since here, Quincy Harker had killed Dracula with one of the silver spokes of his wheelchair, but had died when dynamite blew up a chunk of Drac's castle and buried them, before Harker could decapitate and permanently kill him. Still, his vampire hunting crew went on with their lives; in the case of Rachel Van Helsing, getting killed later. In normal continuity, Rachel was killed by Dracula in X-Men Annual #6, but here it's indicated she was killed by garden-variety vampires some time later...and that's not even the worst thing that happened to her.

After leaving Rachel, Frank Drake went into therapy with Professor Gregor Smirnoff, a Russian dream researcher; who would introduce him to his future wife, Marlene McKenna. Although she had never seen Dracula, she believed Drake's stories, and they were causing progressively worse nightmares...that seemed to imply Dracula was returning. Meanwhile, students in Georgetown are holding more and more disturbing rituals, sacrificing ever more to an unseen master. And Smirnoff's true colors are revealed in his notes: before her death, he had seduced the then-alcoholic Rachel, to pump her for information on the grave of Dracula. Then, Marlene is seemingly possessed by Rachel, as Smirnoff knocks Drake out and takes her to Transylvania! No spoiler to guess what happens soon after...

As is so often the case around here, I'm missing an issue of a four-issue mini, #2 in this case. But we've barely scratched the darkness of this one, and it would have a four-digit body count by the third issue!

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

You mean this mini was even darker than the main series? Nice.