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Tomb of Dracula #13: Review

Oct 1973
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:

To Kill a Vampire!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Tomb of Dracula #13 Review by (September 7, 2020)

Review: Yes, Dracula is really dead—but vampires are among the easiest comic book characters to resurrect so it should be no surprise that he’s alive and well again next issue. Still, the decision to kill Drac, no matter how briefly, goes to show that, despite it being Drac’s comic, the good guys can reasonably achieve their goal. Contrast DC’s Deadman, a hero whose one goal was finding his own murderer; how long did his series have to run before he started to come off as a clueless bungler? Which is why he worked best as a guest star, rather than the focus of a series of his own. This is the big danger of a comic that centers on a villain: how long can the heroes keep losing before they become a big joke? Well, with a vampire, things are easy. Which is why the good guys win, ever so briefly. Another way around this is teased in this very issue: have the villain fight another villain. Marvel was able to produce SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP in the 1970s wherein the two bad guys fought each other and other guest villains more than the occasional hero. So, I’m waiting for Dr. Sun. He’ll be along soon enough. 

And we won’t go into the oddities of an English bobby spotting a bat in the air (in the daytime?) or Dracula’s interest in boxing.

Comments: Blade’s origin is recounted. First mention of (the as yet unnamed) Deacon Frost, who will not return until issue #25. First mention of Doctor Sun who will appear in issue #16. Cover credits according to GCD with possible alterations by John Romita. Though Dracula anticipates Cecile joining him as his slave, she is not seen again in the comics.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #13 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As Quincy Harker mourns the daughter he was forced to kill (last issue), Blade demands that they forget about her and pursue Dracula, which leads to a fight with Frank Drake. Rachel van Helsing breaks up the fight and Quincy says Blade is right, they must go after their deadly quarry….

College student Cecile Parker is on her way home late at night when she is accosted by a would-be rapist. Dracula comes to her rescue, kills the man and hypnotizes her into coming with him to her death….

At the morgue, servants of Doctor Sun bribe the attendant into letting them have the body of Lucas Brand, killed in issue #11; as they go, they murder the attendant to ensure his silence….

Curious about human activity, Dracula attends a boxing match but is disgusted by such wanton waste of strength and passion….

At Quincy Harker’s home, after Edith has been cremated and her ashes stored in a jar, Blade reveals the motivation behind his hunt: his mother was in labor with him when a doctor was called; the doctor turned out to be vampire Deacon Frost who drank his mother’s blood just as Blade was born and he has vowed to kill the monster that took his mother from him….

Dracula, in bat form, is spied flying over a tent meeting on his way to his hidden sanctuary and this is reported to Harker. The heroes head to the nearest town and ask about Dracula and discover the postmaster has been hypnotized by the vampire. Dracula realizes that his enemies have found him and prepares a grim welcome. When they arrive, there is a violent battle, with Taj Nital being hurled into the river, as the enthralled townspeople rush to their master’s aid. Harker fires poisonous darts at Dracula but he merely takes on his misty form and while he is stalking Harker, Blade creeps up behind Dracula and stabs him in the heart with a wooden knife. Dracula is dead….

Gene Colan
Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: John Costanza.


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