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Tomb of Dracula #17: Review

Feb 1974
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Death Rides the Rails!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Tomb of Dracula #17 Review by (November 2, 2020)

Review: Well, that’s one way to inject some plot twists: introduce a couple of characters who misunderstand what’s going on. We have two fellows, Gruber and Granet, who are on the run from Gruber’s mysterious master and they assume both Drac and the Drac hunters are after them instead. It throws an interesting spanner into the plots works as Dracula gets very confused (confused enough not to wonder why Granet, if he’s an agent of Quincy Harker’s, is trying to shoot him with a gun). Gruber confuses Drac even further with his talk of stolen papers, which, so far as I can discover, are never mentioned again; neither is Gruber so apparently Doctor Sun didn’t miss him all that much. The big coincidence is: the master turns out to be Doctor Sun, just introduced as a future foe of Dracula’s. The big question is: why didn’t Doctor Sun have an agent on the train? The big disappointment: why can Rachel van Helsing never hit Drac with her crossbow? The big relief is: the young mother survives being bitten by Drac. And that’s a lot of bigs.

Comments: Jack Russell’s appearance is a teaser for the next issue’s crossover. 





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #17 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

His coffins in England having been destroyed, Count Dracula heads for on in Paris, only to find the coffin gone and Blade waiting for him. Dracula defeats the vampire hunter, drinks his blood and leaves him for dead. Dracula then heads for a coffin Harker and company don’t know about—hidden on a French farm and guarded by one of his servants. Dracula spends the night there….

Dracula then boards a train for Transylvania. Also aboard is Ludwig Gruber and his bodyguard, the hulking Granet; Gruber has stolen a briefcase full of documents from his master and fears pursuit. Also aboard: Frank Drake and Rachel van Helsing, hunting Dracula though Granet overhears them and assumes they are the ones pursuing Gruber. And there is also a young American, Jack Russell [a/k/a Werewolf By Night]….

At the pagoda of Doctor Sun, the latest attempt to bring a vampire into his service sees Lucas Brand put to the test: he is pitted against two soldiers with automatic weapons. His lack of fear in facing them proves to be a success….

Aboard the train, Dracula feeds upon a young mother but her scream attracts attention so the Count is forced to leave unsated (and the woman alive). Hearing about this, Gruber orders Granet to kill Dracula, Rachel, and Frank. Granet goes after Dracula first; the vampire assumes his attacker is one of Quincy Harker’s agents and throws him through a window to his death. Dracula decides to leave the train and fly the rest of the way but he is intercepted by Frank and Rachel; the vampire beats up Frank while mocking him, clouts Rachel, and heads down the corridor to be intercepted by Gruber. The latter confuses Dracula with all of his shouted defiance of the master and jumps to his death to keep the briefcase from the one he assumes is his master’s agent….

Epilogue: The briefcase is recovered by agents of the real master: Doctor Sun….



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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Blade
Blade

(Eric Brooks)
Doctor Sun
Doctor Sun

(Dr. Sun)
Werewolf
Werewolf

(Jack Russell)

Plus: Lucas Brand.

> Tomb of Dracula: Book info and issue index

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