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Tomb of Dracula #53: Review

Feb 1977
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:

The Final Glory of Deacon Frost

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tomb of Dracula #53 Review by (October 5, 2021)

Review: Not a lot of Dracula in this issue of his own title but that’s so the ongoing Hannibal King/Deacon Frost subplot can be wrapped up hastily. Really, it feels just like a new writer is taking over and is concluding his predecessor’s storylines so he can move on to his own ideas. But no, Marv Wolfman isn’t going anywhere. So what’s up? All of a sudden Hannibal King knows where Frost’s lair is and has no trouble entering with Blade. Then we learn Frost’s origin: he was injected with vampire serum. Fair enough—but this endowed him with the power to create doppelgangers of other people? That’s not a typical vampire ability. And then Blade and King are able to defeat multiple copies of themselves which presumably are just as strong, fast, and smart as the originals? I’m not buying it. And then Frost is easily dispatched, resulting in a stereotypical burning mad scientist’s lab. So what has Frost been doing all these months they’ve been hunting him? Nothing apparently, just working on his moon tan. And the cover (which falsely promises a showdown between Drac and Frost who have never met) says, “Because you demanded it!” Really? Readers have been demanding Marvelous Marv get to a point with this subplot as quickly as possible? Even I didn’t want that.

Not to mention some confusing continuity: Eight months have passed since Dracula wed Domini in issue #48 so what are the vampire hunters doing, other than keeping an eye on Drac and his cult? And is Dracula going out and preying on someone every night? A daily death, even in a large city like Boston, is bound to attract notice but nothing is ever said. And another month passes by the start of the next issue; what are the heroes doing? What is Dracula eating? The condensed timeline does not hold up to close questioning. 

Comments: Last appearance of Hannibal King in this series; he returns in DOCTOR STRANGE (1974) #58-62. Only appearance of Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan, in this series. Deacon Frost returns in BLADE: CRESCENT CITY BLUES (1998); a prior appearance in BLADE: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #3, 7-8 is revealed to have been a Frost doppelganger. Michele Wolfman and Marie Severin share the coloring duties. The letters page includes one by future comics historian/critic Peter Sanderson and one by Ed Via, future publisher and editor-in-chief of Claypool Comics.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #53 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Hannibal King returns to the cemetery with Daimon Hellstrom a/k/a the Son of Satan. They unearth the coffin holding the dead Blade doppelganger and King removes the stake, restoring the monster to life. Hellstrom uses his Soulfire to separate Blade from his evil double and King slays the latter once more and hero Blade is grateful….

At the church, Dracula takes leave of his pregnant bride Domini and goes out in search of a feast. He comes upon a woman but relents when he sees that she has a small child with her. He turns to a lone man and drinks his blood, leaving with him a task he must perform when he rises three days later (see issue #55)….

Blade has a happy reunion with his girlfriend Safron Caulder but Hannibal King immediately drags him away to hunt down Deacon Frost. At a cemetery, King uncovers the secret entrance that leads to Frost’s underground lair. King then fills Blade in on the history of Deacon Frost: he was a mad scientist who devised a serum that would turn a person into a vampire; while experimenting on a kidnapped woman her fiancé arrived and fought Frost; the villain was injected with his own serum, he killed the interloper, and he was left with unusual powers including the ability to create doppelgangers. Frost then catches Blade and King and sic his cadre of King and Blade doppelgangers on them. The heroes defeat their doubles in a frantic melee and they pursue the fleeing Frost to his mad lab. There, Frost prepares to hurl a vial of deadly fungus at them; Blade and King respond by throwing wooden knives which impale the villain, sending him crashing into a machine which explodes, setting the whole place on fire and the heroes barely make it out alive….

Epilogue: Blade and King report to Rachel van Helsing, Frank Drake, and Harold H. Harold what they’ve done and Hannibal King, his mission completed, thanks them and takes his leave, intending to return to Minneapolis….

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Eric Brooks)
Son of Satan
Son of Satan

(Daimon Hellstrom)

Plus: Deacon Frost, Domini, Safron Caulder.

> Tomb of Dracula: Book info and issue index

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