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Giant-Size Dracula #5: Review

Jun 1975
David Kraft, Virgilio Redondo

Story Name:

The Art of Dying!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Giant-Size Dracula #5 Review by (February 16, 2021)

Review: Another dark and grim tale with a split plot that comes together in the end. Yes, Polcary Evanns is way over the top and we never really find what his destiny was all about—unless blowing up in his dirigible was his destiny. The story could have gone into Drac’s schemes to conquer France a bit more, similar to his depiction as a James Bond villain in THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA with Christopher Lee, which seems like a fertile field for further exploration, having Drac do something other than stalk pretty girls at night and actually having a clear goal. The art by Virgilio Redondo has an older feel to it (similar to his brother Nestor’s work on DC’s 1970s horror comics) that suits both the horror theme and the 1930s setting. Special to this issue: a brand new back up tale, “Dark Asylum!” instead of a goofy 1950s reprint; it’s not bad.

Comments: Final issue of the series. Main story takes place decades before TOMB OF DRACULA #1. Issue includes a notice about the contents of the next issue, which never materialized; a Satana story, “Deathsong,” intended for this issue was published as MARVEL PREMIERE #27. 


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Giant-Size Dracula #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Europe, the 1930s: a man hides in a house in the mountains, waiting for Dracula to come and kill him…. He recalls how he was a French government agent, until the night he was on his way to a briefing with his supervisor—and overheard M. Duval with Dracula, being hypnotized to obey the vampire lord’s will, aiding him in conquering France. The Agent killed Duval to prevent his betraying his country. Dracula seized the Agent and tried to bite his neck but the man shot Dracula in the face and escaped. He fled to a small village in the Alps and then learned that Dracula has found him….

Ruthless millionaire Polcary Evanns is in his airship flying across Europe; he is drunk and abusive but in his clear moments he is apologetic. He threatens to beat his wife Eleanor and navigator Aaron Schmidt comes to her rescue, punching Evanns in the face. He apologizes to his wife, pleading the recurring dreams of traveling across the continent, dreams which he is pursuing so that he may finally find his destiny. Evanns continues to shift between good and bad moods, first accusing his wife of having an affair with Schmidt, then apologizing, then hitting her, and finally stabbing Schmidt and throwing him overboard—and threatening to murder Eleanor unless the crew continues their journey….

Dracula swoops down on the Agent to feast on his blood but he has grown careless: the sun is rising and Dracula must abandon his victim and flee. The wounded Agent is helped by the local priest, Father Wetzel, who cares for him but begs him to leave the area, lest the vampire prey upon the locals. The Agent has a cross but asks food and a phial of holy water for his journey. His journey leads him further into the mountains, through frigid air and blinding snow—and then Dracula catches up to him. He holds the vampire at bay with a torch, but the flame will not last forever. And then they hear the sound of a zeppelin overhead….

Polcary Evanns’ airship is heading through the storm; a crewman warns him that they are likely to crash but Evanns hits him to shut him up as they are following the course from his dream. They discover Dracula and the Agent below and bring them aboard. Dracula tries to kill the Agent who dashes holy water in the vampire’s face. Agent tries to warn them but Evanns beats him up; Dracula returns to the ship and tries to feed on Eleanor. Evanns cracks up and attacks Dracula thinking he is his wife’s lover. The Agent grabs Eleanor and leaps overboard just as the zeppelin crashes into a mountain and explodes. The Agent and Eleanor are the only survivors and they head back to civilization.

“Dark Asylum!”
Writer: David Kraft. Plot: Tony Isabella. Pencils: John Byrne. Inks: Rudy Nebres. Letters: ?
Synopsis: An amnesiac finds himself in a castle, battling a hellhound and a sexy demoness before facing an evil wizard who bears his face, defeating him in battle. He then wakes up in an insane asylum, having fought his way back to sanity.

“The Hidden Vampire!”
Writer: ? Art: Fred Kida. Colors: ? Letters: ?
Synopsis: An American reporter searching for a vampire enters a creepy mansion in Hungary; he finds nothing suspicious inside but discovers the doors and windows sealed to keep him from leaving: the house itself is the vampire! Reprinted from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #21.

“They Fly By Night”
Writer: ? Art: Bob Correra. Colors: ? Letters: ?
Synopsis: On a visit to Europe, a pair of American tourists are killed by a vampire; their son grows up to seek revenge. When he returns to the town, he finds his parents are now vampires and doesn’t know whether to kill them or join them! Reprinted from ADVENTURES INTO TERROR #30.

Virgilio Redondo
Dan Adkins
Don Warfield
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Marcos Pelayo.


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