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Tomb of Dracula #45: Review

Jun 1976
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Tomb of Dracula #45 Review by (August 10, 2021)

Review: And in a surprising turn of events, the new story arc includes Jesus Christ as a character. Now I usually recoil from attempts to use my faith as fodder for a comic book. And Marvel has already struck out with that ridiculous and offensive attempt to introduce Christ into GHOST RIDER but this time things are a bit different: this time it’s a painting of Christ that nevertheless exerts a godly aura that affects Dracula and his evil purposes. What I’m saying is that it’s respectful of Christianity which did form the backdrop for vampire legends in general and Dracula in particular. I found that surprising and will watch this development closely over the upcoming issues; kudos to Marv Wolfman who can put aside prejudices in a comic book (as Jason Aaron can’t).

As for the rest of the issue: the Satanist/bride of Dracula stuff forms a new and different story arc, most obviously by making Dracula the leader of a group of worshippers, an uncommon situation to find him in. This makes up for a few missteps: I can’t believe Dracula would so quickly hide from Dr. Strange, or go to Harold H. Harold for information, or stand in the middle of a street, helplessly shouting defiance against an old lady who ignores him. Drac must really be having a bad day—and it ends with him getting engaged to a woman he has only known for five seconds. Still not sure why the old lady was in the comic (this is her only appearance), or why Blade has become such a hothead, or how Hannibal King could overpower Blade so easily, or why Marv Wolfman keeps bringing back Harold, whose usefulness to the plot ended in issue #43, or why Marv thinks anyone should care about the romantic hijinks of Rachel and Frank. Maybe Marv was having a bad day too.

Comments: First appearance of Domini who will be a regular character for a while; also the debut of Anton Lupeski and the Children of the Damned. The old lady saw Dracula when she was a child in DRACULA LIVES #9. Deacon Frost is named for the first time; he was introduced in issue #13 and appeared intermittently but here he gets a name. He is no relation to Emma Frost, Whitney “Madame Masque” Frost, TV presenter David Frost, or the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. And definitely not Frosty the Snowman.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #45 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Blade, on the trail of the vampire who killed his mother, confronts vampire PI Hannibal King in a darkened apartment. The hotheaded Blade immediately tries to kill King who knocks him around to get him to listen. King explains he is also pursuing Deacon Frost, the vampire who turned him, and suggests they team up. Blade is reluctant until King turns on the lights to show him a body on the floor, victim of a vampire; Blade is still reluctant but agrees to work with King….

Meanwhile, as Doctor Strange and Wong depart from the mansion of Doctor Sun, leaving the dead Dracula behind, the vampire lord resumes his human form, having hypnotized Strange into believing he had died. Dracula returns to the deconsecrated church he discovered in DOCTOR STRANGE #14 and plans to use it for his latest scheme: to start his own religion and conquer the world though deception. His one problem is that some mysterious force prevents him from removing the huge portrait of Jesus Christ that hangs there and decides he must live with it….

Dracula seeks out Harold H. Harold and asks for the name and address of the local Satanists. He chooses and old woman to feed upon but she remembers the vampire from when she was a child and refuses to be afraid of him, leaving Dracula angry and frustrated. Quincy Harker, Rachel van Helsing, and Frank Drake spot Dracula flying by; the latter two go out to eat and Rachel tells Frank that she doesn’t like the guy he has turned into; he tells her he loves her. Aww.

At a meeting in Cambridge of the Church of the Damned, a woman named Domini is being prepared to become the bride of Satan. Cult leader Anton Lupeski has her hanged on an upside-down cross, doused in the Sacred Oils and set ablaze. Dracula arrives to claim Lupeski and he is taken to be Satan coming for his bride. The flames are put out and Domini is found unharmed. Dracula decides on a change of plans and accepts her as his bride, allowing himself to be hailed as the devil and announcing the marriage of Dracula will take place in three days before departing….

Blade and Hannibal King watch as the dead man on the floor rises as a vampire and they question him about Deacon Frost; he tells them that Frost hired him to unearth a coffin and repaid him by taking his blood. The man tells them what was in the coffin: and exact duplicate of Blade….

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


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