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Tomb of Dracula #51: Review

Dec 1976
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:

The Wildest Party

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tomb of Dracula #51 Review by (September 21, 2021)

Review: So he didn’t last long: Blade doppelganger, introduced in issue #48, brief fight scenes with Hannibal King in #49 and 50, bumped off in #51. In continuity, his total appearances would amount to under an hour, perhaps less, though he will be back, briefly, in issue #53. But he did make it possible to have a violent fight and brutal death as a highlight for this issue. Plus, the revelation that Domini, who we already know isn’t on Dracula’s side anymore but serves Christ, has plans for her husband, which makes me shiver. This balances a couple of questionable story decisions, such as Dracula’s attending a fund raiser (unlikely, he’d have way too much pride to go begging among his upper class inferiors—and he definitely wouldn’t show off vampire tricks for them) and Rachel and Frank reconciling—by having her admit she’s a stuck-up witch and he’s been right all along. Seems like she needs some friends to tell her she’s in a toxic relationship, maybe the March sisters could stop by on their way to the library in issue #49.

Comments: First (brief) appearance of the Golden Angel. Michele Wolfman and Marie Severin collaborated on the colors. The letters page includes one by Ed Via, future publisher and editor-in-chief of Claypool Comics. The letters page also features the first Howard the Duck Weekly Campaign Update.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #51 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

There is a standoff at Anton Lupeski’s house: Frank Drake and Harold H. Harold have been captured by the cultists while Rachel van Helsing brandishes her crossbow demanding they let the men free. And then Dracula materializes in their midst. Rachel fires at him and gives him a minor wound and tells Dracula to order his followers to free the men—and Dracula, uninterested in confrontation, lets them all leave unharmed. Dracula asks Lupeski to remove the crossbow bolt from his chest; Lupeski toys with the idea of killing his “master” now but realizes that will upset all of his other plans….

Rachel, Frank, and Harold return to the Harker home to find Quincy Harker has suffered a heart attack. They call an ambulance and he is taken to the hospital….

The cult throws a fund-raising party attended by Boston’s elite where Dracula and Domini are presented as the new messiah and the Mistress of Hell. The crowd is impressed by Dracula’s personality and charisma, moreso when the demonstrates his ability to turn into a bat or a mist. An old lady in the crowd sees Dracula as evil and he hypnotizes her into submission. Then Dracula spies a figure lurking in the shadows, recognizing him as one who has appeared to him in the past, as a harbinger of doom—but the figure departs unseen. Lupeski notes this for future possibilities. Then a wounded Hannibal King dashes into the room followed by Blade’s vampire doppelganger; Dracula seizes the opportunity to demonstrate his power and ruthlessness by destroying the Blade he thinks is the same one who has been hounding him for years, though now become a vampire. (Present is Deacon Frost, creator of the Blade doppelganger, amused at the turn of events.) As the fight becomes intense, Lupeski takes Domini into an adjoining room for a talk; Lupeski wants to make a deal with her, proposing that they kill Dracula and her unborn child will become the new messiah, with Lupeski as regent, of course. Domini rejects this offer, insisting she will deal with her husband in her own way….

At the hospital waiting for word on Quincy’s condition, Frank and Rachel hash out their relationships problems, with her admitting that she keeps her emotions bottled up and was resenting Frank for showing his. They kiss while Harold wisely wishes he were somewhere else….

As Dracula continues to throw Blade around, Hannibal King spots Deacon Frost and chases him. The vampire easily escapes by turning into a mist then a bat, while King refuses to use his vampiric powers. Dracula and Blade each seize a shard of broken furniture to wield as stakes against each other. Blade stakes Dracula in the back but misses his heart; Dracula stakes Blade dead center and the vampire Blade dies….

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


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