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Tomb of Dracula #36: Review

Sep 1975
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Flight of Fear!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Tomb of Dracula #36 Review by (May 5, 2021)

Review: An offbeat issue which, technically, consists of a group of people listening to tape recordings in an office. But there’s more to it than that: it’s an exciting account of Dracula flying to America, as told by a new voice, an Air Force pilot, putting the vampire into an unfamiliar setting. The new situation is thrilling and the only thing that mars the issue is having to jump back to the “Frank Drake versus zombies” subplot before we jump back to the main tale. The big reveal is how Dracula behaves under this unfamiliar pressure, growing less careful of his surroundings and even loudly shouting his name and demanding fealty. As an interesting sidelight, we also see the pressure Rachel van Helsing is under, constantly mocking Dr. Scott and ridiculing the tapes as unnecessary dramatics; she apologizes in the end which sets her apart from the arrogant vampire lord. So, next time around, we’re chasing Dracula in America for the first time!

Comments: Technically, Dracula doesn’t appear in this issue, only via flashback, which usually doesn’t count; too bad, I’m including him anyway. Issue includes a brief note on the death of longtime Marvel letterer Artie Simek.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #36 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Rachel van Helsing and Quincy Harker join Inspector Chelm and Dr. Scott in listening to the latest reports on the whereabouts of Count Dracula, now crazed with fear over his loss of powers and his impending death. They listen to a taped interview with one William Perry, a mechanic at Heathrow Airport in London. A plane was grounded because of a problem with the landing gear so Perry informed the manager, Mr. Owens, who announced the flight delay to the passengers. One of the disappointed fliers was Count Dracula who became incensed at the delay and caused a ruckus, battling staff and security guards while demanding to be put on a different flight. When Owens arrived at the scene, Dracula ripped his throat out and, when guards opened fire, he changed into a mist and vanished….

A second tape is of U.S. Air Force Captain Side Greenely, stationed in England. Greenley was scheduled to test fly a fighter jet across the Atlantic to Washington DC and was planning to be married at the end of the week. Dracula overheard this and, in mist form, he entered the cockpit and seated himself behind the pilot as he took off for the USA. Over the ocean, Dracula made himself known to Greenely and demanded he change course for Boston. The pilot, assuming his passenger was a spy, punched his name into the flight computer and received a printout that Dracula was indeed and authentic vampire. He lost control of the plane and accidentally fired missiles and had to do some serious maneuvering to avoid them. Greenely diverted the plane to Boston and, since his radio signals had been monitored, an Army group was waiting for them. When they had disembarked, Greenely threw himself to the ground as the soldiers opened fire on Dracula but he was unharmed, soon floating away as a mist. The tape done, Rachel prepares to leave for Boston….

In Brazil, Frank Drake and Brother Voodoo find Chastity Jones, whom Frank accuses of having led him into a death trap. She insists she was lied to as well and when Frank sees Danny Summers fleeing the scene, he chases him down and punches him out. Danny reveals that he had been hypnotized into serving Dracula and had no particular animosity against Frank. Frank believes him…but Brother Voodoo tells him that his business is not yet finished….

London: Quincy and Rachel board a plane for Boston and then Dr. Scott reports on these latest developments to his master—Doctor Sun….

Gene Colan
Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
Tom Palmer (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.

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