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Tomb of Dracula #21: Review

Jun 1974
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Deathknell

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Tomb of Dracula #21 Review by (December 7, 2020)

Review: Drac versus a mad scientist with a vampire of his own! Another offbeat offering for the series by Marv Wolfman who keeps juggling concepts to keep the series fresh. And we have a mad doctor who is a brain in a jar, a mind transfer device, and a lab that ends up burning to the ground as in a Universal Frankenstein film. And for connoisseurs of bombastic dialogue, there’s Drac and Brand verbally abusing one another throughout their duel to the death. A few plot holes show up, starting with the miracle of Doctor Sun’s escape mentioned in the synopsis. Then there’s Drac apparently perishing in a fire which Brand, the closest witness, believes to have killed him—yet now only does Drac survive, in the next issue we see his clothes aren’t even singed. And then Dr. Sun kills Brand by electrocuting him, which shouldn’t work, unless this is a special garlic infused electricity to go with the garlic laced chains in issue #20. But none of that matters, it’s a cool story and the goofs give it another layer of charm.

Comments: Part three of three parts. Doctor Sun returns in issue #26. Final appearance of Lucas Brand. Two of the letters in the letter column are by future film director Frank Darabont and future Marvel editor Ralph Macchio.






 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #21 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Dracula, Frank Drake, and Rachel van Helsing have been captured by an immobility ray in the Transylvanian base of Doctor Sun. As villains are wont to do, Doctor Sun explains in detail how he came to be what he is: during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1966, Doctor Sun was considered a traitor so the “General” had his brain removed (the surgeon was Sun’s own son) and hooked up to a computer so they could gain his knowledge. Instead, Sun used the computer’s power to electrocute everyone in the room and…he doesn’t say how he got out of there, being confined to a glass box. Anyway, Sun commands his vampire henchman Lucas Brand to destroy Dracula as his final test. There is a battle full of the two combatants taunting and defying one another that ends with Brand staking Dracula in the heart just as the Count knocks Brand out….

Back in London, Quincy Harker tries to persuade Blade to stay with his team but Blade is impatient, wanting to get back to tracking down the vampire who killed his mother and so he takes his leave….

Dracula awakens strapped to a fiendish machine as Doctor Sun explains how he needs a constant supply of new blood and so he needed the help of a vampire, choosing to make Lucas Brand the most powerful vampire of all. To that end, Dracula and Brand are hooked up to a mental transfer device that will take all of Dracula’s knowledge, thought processes, and cunning and send it into Brand’s head. Brand breaks free of the machine when his knowledge is complete and he and Dracula duel again. Dracula changes into a bat and drinks the blood of Sun’s chief scientist then, his strength renewed, he attacks Brand. Sun sees that Dracula will win and releases Frank and Rachel, restoring their weapons to them and sending them to fight the vampires. The lab catches fire, trapping Dracula, Brand with Dracula’s knowledge decides that he will destroy Sun and rule the world himself. Sun has Brand electrocuted, sets the lab to self-destruct, and teleports out of there. Frank and Rachel make it to their helicopter in time, satisfied that Dracula is finally dead…but we see a bat fly out of the cave seconds before the explosion….



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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

> Tomb of Dracula: Book info and issue index

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