Tomb of Dracula #1: Review

Apr 1972
Gerry Conway, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Dracula

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Tomb of Dracula #1 Review by (June 2, 2018)
In the early 70s, the Comics Code Authority (CCA) eased up on what stories were allowed in comic books. Marvel jumped at the opportunity and introduced several monsters, including the classic vampire man, Dracula. Written by Garry Conway with art by Gene Colan, the first issue is a compelling, horror-centric tale, beautifully adorned by Colan who seems born for drawing this character. With an apt cliffhanger, the new series promised a bright future. As history would confirm, such expectation was not the stuff of legend.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #1 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara

On a rainy night in Transylvania, Frank Drake, his girlfriend Jean, and their friend Curtis Graves drive a hilly road to a castle that was owned by Count Dracula himself. But an accident prevents them from reaching their destination. Returning by foot to a nearby village, they hire a carriage at a tavern where the locals express fear and cautious about the abandoned castle.

As the carriage leaves them in front of the castle, Frank remembers what took him there. His father, a laborious man, passed away and left him a million dollar inheritance. Frank misused it, spending it all in a few years. When his friend Curtis found out Frank was a direct descendant of Dracula and owned a castle (unsold for lack of a buyer), Curtis convinced Frank that it was a great tourist opportunity that could bring new fortunes to both of them. Researching about the matter, Frank read an old diary written by his family with stories about Dracula. The book stated that the man vampire met death at the hands of a grandson, Van "Helfing" (Helsing?), who stabbed him through the heart in his sleep.

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Entering the castle, Frank senses he's been there before. As Jean recovers from an attack of bats, Curtis leaves the trio to check on the castle. He falls through a rotten floor to a hidden passage, the tomb of Dracula. In a coffin lays a skeleton with a stake in the chest. Bingo! Curtis, believing the vampire legend to be scuttlebutt, now needs to steal the castle from Frank, and conquer Jean, his real agenda from the start.

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Making a grave mistake, Curtis removes the stake from the skeleton, and Dracula is once more!

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Horrified, Curtis removes a gun from his coat and shoots repeatedly. But his regular bullets are worthless against the revived vampire who throws him into a pit.

Meanwhile, Jean and Frank stumble upon a hole in the floor; a bat comes through it and transforms into Dracula!

Unbelieving in his own eyes, Frank holds Jean, but she walks to the Count, irresistibly attracted by him. Frank punches his girlfriend cold to save her and using her silver compact, successfully repels Dracula who flies away like a bat.

Thirsty after a hundred-year sleep, Dracula finds comfort in the blood of a prostitute. Villagers find her dead body and armed with torches, march to the castle.

Back to in lair, Dracula finds Jean asleep and moves to taste her young blood. But a crucifix on her neck halts him. Frank enters the room holding the silver compact and reveals Dracula they're relatives.

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The Count knocks him out and reaches for his cousin's neck as Jean wakes up. Following Dracula's wish, she throws the crucifix away.

The villagers reach the castle and set it on fire. Frank wakes and carries Jean outside, but she's dead. As the locals return to their homes, Jean, with long fangs, tells Frank that she's alive and walks away following a flying bat.


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Gene Colan
Gene Colan
Neal Adams (Cover Penciler)
Neal Adams (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Stan Lee.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.


Plus: Curtis Graves, Frank Drake.