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Tomb of Dracula #3: Review

Jul 1972
Archie Goodwin, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Who Stalks the Vampire?

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Tomb of Dracula #3 Review by (June 29, 2020)

Review: And Archie Goodwin takes over for his two-issue stint as writer and the change is imperceptible. Archie gets to introduce more of a supporting cast with Rachel van Helsing, ace vampire-hunter, and her mute sidekick Taj and they carry much of the plot conflict as Dracula’s enemies. The sequence with the porter is very well done and makes this issue special. Then Ilsa Strangway shows up at the end for a nice lead-in to the next issue where her fate plays out. Only issue #3 and already we’re illuminating side and guest characters. Cool. 

Comments: First appearances of Rachel van Helsing, Taj Nital, and Inspector (George) Chelm. First appearance of the Black Mirror which will figure in the next few issues. One of the letters in the letters column is by David B. Michelinie, future Iron Man and Spider-Man writer.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #3 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Bitterly depressed late one night, Frank Drake plans to leap off a bridge and end it all; he is rescued by the huge Taj Nital and Frank meets his friend Rachel van Helsing, whose great-grandfather killed Count Dracula. She saw in the news that he had inherited and then sold Castle Dracula and now the Count is now loose in London….

Clifton Graves, drinking heavily since he saw Jeanie die last issue, is found by Count Dracula and made his servant. Clifton is sent to the hotel where Frank had stored Dracula’s stolen coffin and the night porter takes him to the storage room in search of it. But Rachel van Helsing asks Frank to join their vampire-hunting crusade and they arrive at the same place to look for the coffin. As the porter helps Cliff with the coffin it falls revealing a false bottom full of gold. Dracula arrives and “rewards” the porter with a bite. Frank, Rachel, and Taj hear the man’s scream and come running. The two men try to fight Dracula but he is too powerful. Rachel reveals a crossbow and she fires at the Count but he dodges by becoming a bat and flying away with Cliff, locking the door behind them. They struggle with the door until the police arrive and arrest them for the porter’s murder….

The three are questioned by Inspector Chelm but he doesn’t believe them until he is persuaded to accompany them to the morgue and they are all present when the porter awakens as a vampire, to immediately put to death….

Meanwhile at the estate of Ilsa Strangway, her lawyer expresses concern over her purchases of occult and bizarre items, noting that a man named Graves is making an offer for Castle Dracula, which she recently bought from Frank Drake. Her concern is that she was once a celebrated beauty and popular artists’ model but now that she is aging her looks are eroding and if medical science can’t stop her aging, she will turn to magical means. She thinks she has found the answer in Bram Stoker’s Dracula; when he scoffs, she dismisses him. She turns to find Count Dracula himself standing silently on her balcony; knowing that a vampire cannot enter a home for the first time without being invited by one of the household, Ilsa Strangway bids Dracula enter….

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

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