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Tomb of Dracula #6: Review

Jan 1973
Gardner F. Fox, Gene Colan

Story Name:

The Moorlands Monster!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tomb of Dracula #6 Review by (July 20, 2020)

Review: Gardner Fox wraps up his two-issue entry with the offbeat introduction of a shaggy deformed monster who (of course) turns out to be a good guy; there’s no reason Lord Dering should have revealed his family history but sometimes the exposition must flow. No way he could have guessed where Dracula was either but they only have 21 pages so we’ll let that one slide too. Drac’s sacrifice of Lenore is a startling and effective scene, making up for a few other oddball questions such as, How many of these mirrors are there? How did Taj survive being clouted in the head with a stone lid too heavy to lift? And was this really the best time for Frank and Rachel to have a romantic interlude? This last just seems to commit Marv Wolfman to some character development he may not have wanted.

Comments: Final appearance of the Black Mirrors in this title; they are next seen in DOCTOR STRANGE (1974 series) #42-44. Sole appearance of Randolph Dering. Rachitis, also known as rickets, is a softening of the bones in children due to a lack of Vitamin D mainly causing bowlegs; perhaps this more extreme version is a mutation found among the Dering family. Plus, Nevus Pilosis is primarily a hairy mole but then again, the family may have a more severe variation, befitting a horror comic. Presumably, the dead servant girl is staked to prevent her from returning as a vampire; no word on what happens to the young man killed by Lenore.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #6 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Dracula and Lenore escape through the Black Mirror into a ruined chapel on the English moors but they don’t notice that they have been observed by a shaggy deformed monster. The vampires split up to hunt for prey: Dracula feeds on a servant girl whose body afterwards is hidden by the mystery creature. Lenore preys on a young man in a nearby village….

Frank Drake, Rachel van Helsing and Taj Nital, on Dracula’s trail, emerge from the Black Mirror at the Strangway home but learn he did not emerge from this mirror. They meet Inspector Chelm who informs them of a mysterious murder on the moors—and the sighting of a shaggy deformed monster. The heroes meet with Lord and Lady Dering who describe their missing servant girl and Rachel tells them they suspect a vampire; the Derings look relieved. While investigating the moors, Rachel spies a bat heading for the chapel and pursues and she is trapped by Lenore; her scream brings Frank and Taj face-to-face with Dracula. Frank fires the crossbow but Dracula pulls Lenore in front of him and she takes the deadly bolt. Dracula flees, leading them toward a death trap, unaware that he is being followed by the shaggy deformed monster ….

The heroes have discovered the body of the missing servant girl and return to the Dering home. Lord Dering decides to reveal that he and his wife have a son named Randolph who was born with Rachitis and Nevus Pilosis which made him a shaggy deformed monster; he lives in the ruined chapel and the dead servant girl took him his food. Lord Dering also suggests that the vampire has gone to Hagscroft Castle for its burial vault. So, they go there and find Dracula waiting for them. He opens a pit, bashes Taj in the head with the heavy lid, tosses Rachel and Frank in and replaces the lid. Knowing Taj couldn’t lift the lid, Rachel and Frank assume they are doomed and confess their love for one another. But Randolph, the shaggy deformed monster, lifts the lid and helps them out. As they cross the moors with their new friend, Frank knows that his vampire heritage will prevent any real relationship with Rachel….

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


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