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Tomb of Dracula #70: Review

Aug 1979
Marv Wolfman, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Lords of the Undead!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tomb of Dracula #70 Review by (February 2, 2022)

Review: And so it ends. Wish I could say this was the best issue of the series but it isn’t. Yes, Dracula beats his rival as Lord of the Undead but it isn’t as satisfying as it should have been. Torgo should have been introduced much sooner to build him into a formidable threat to Dracula, not have Drac kill him twenty minutes after they meet. Then Quincy Harker shows up to kill Dracula in a suicide bombing but again, why does Quincy find it so easy to destroy the greatest enemy of his life? In thirty seconds? And I thought it was Janus’ destiny to kill his father? He’s there but all he does is report back to his mother, who already knew. And for some crashing anticlimax, we’re treated to a lengthy update on the Frank and Rachel romance as though anyone cared about them. Plus, there’s a two-page letter in cursive (take that, Millennials!) to wrap this last thing up. And the last four pages of the story is an elegy for Dracula as though we’re supposed to admire him as the great but flawed man that he was. He was a monster and a villain! And not a sympathetic one like Frankenstein’s Monster or the Phantom of the Opera but one of the nasty ones. Odd climax to the long-running and frequently excellent series but Drac will be back even more quickly that the usual dead protagonist. So maybe Marv Wolfman didn’t want to put that much effort into it seeing as he was just taking a few months’ vacation. Huh.

Comments: Part three of three parts. Double-sized final issue of the series; Dracula returns in TOMB OF DRACULA (1979 series) #1, a few months after this issue was published. Domini returns in NIGHTSTALKERS #16-18. Janus shows up in DEATH OF DRACULA #1, then X-MEN: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS – STORM AND GAMBIT followed by FEAR ITSELF: HULK VS. DRACULA. Final appearance of Quincy Harker. Torgo is no relation to the character of the same name from MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE, though I can’t really prove it. The letters page includes one by future comics historian/critic Peter Sanderson.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #70 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Dracula, in his mist form and bearing a cross, pursues the Dark Ones across the Transylvanian countryside to their burial ground. There, they resume their human forms and tell Dracula that they no longer recognize his authority since he lost his powers. They have a new lord and master, Torgo. Several of them denounce Dracula for his sins against his kind, noting that he is still holding the cross. Dracula, surprised, glances at the cross and it bursts into flame and he hurls it away. Janus watches from a distance. The vampire attack Dracula but Torgo appears, rising from the ground and commands them to stop. Torgo orders Dracula to kneel and, against his will, the former Lord of the Undead does so. Torgo kicks him in the face, twice, so Dracula challenges him to a duel to the death….

The vampire hunters, Rachel van Helsing, Frank Drake, Quincy Harker, Harold H. Harold, know something is going on with Dracula and decide to take advantage of it and defeat him….

Dracula faces Torgo with disdain because he is a peasant while Dracula is of the nobility. Torgo relates his story: he was a commoner who rose to the rank of general in the war against Atilla the Hun (making him older than Dracula). He was severely wounded in battle and, mistaken for dead, buried. An old witch dug him up and feasted on his blood, rendering Torgo one of the undead. And now Torgo has risen as the new aggressive leader that vampires need to conquer the world, a goal Dracula had explicitly abandoned. The two combatants are then tied to one another at the wrists and armed with wooden stakes. The fight begins and Torgo produces a dagger since he doesn’t have to fight fairly. The two taunt one another while they fight and Dracula is able to seize his foe’s knife hand and twist it so that it drives the knife into Torgo’s own heart. As Torgo crumbles into dust, Dracula declares himself victor. The vampires start fawning over him and he promises retribution later but for now he’s going home. He stands atop the highest tower, bemoaning the fact that he is Lord of the Undead but they are all worthless vermin. Quincy Harker reveals himself, announcing that the time has come for Dracula to die. He forces himself to his feet, wielding a long needle of silver, and sets a timer on his wheelchair for thirty seconds. Quincy lists all those whom he loved that were slain by Dracula and he lunges, spearing the vampire in the chest. He takes out a knife to sever Dracula’s head and the bomb in his wheelchair goes off, obliterating the castle….

Rachel and Frank hear the explosion and hurry into the street where a peasant woman tells them they are finally free. The head to the castle and realize what Quincy has done. Rachel sinks into a bitter funk and Frank takes her home….

At Harker Manor, Frank and Rachel learn that the estate is about to be sold off. Rachel wonders why she can’t cry for Quincy who raised her like a father. She then receives a letter mailed by Quincy the day he died. In it he reveals that he is dying from his heart condition and he senses that Dracula is also weakening so he is planning to make a last effort to kill his longtime foe. But Quincy does not want to see Rachel consumed by bitterness but encourages her to experience the joys of life with Frank. She cries, they embrace….

At the church, Domini meditates on the death of her husband which she knows about intuitively. Janus appears beside her to assure her she is not alone but Janus belongs to another. His golden angel form ascends into Heaven, leaving his infant form in his mother’s arms….

The issue ends with an elegy for Count Dracula, ruler, war hero, vampire….          

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Domini, Janus Tepes (Son of Dracula).

> Tomb of Dracula: Book info and issue index

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