Werewolf by Night #15: Review

Mar 1974
Marv Wolfman, Mike Ploog

Story Name:

Death of a Monster!

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Werewolf by Night #15 Review by (November 10, 2020)

Review: Wait, what? The story is called “Death of a Monster”? But who dies? No one? Not sure why they needed clickbait inside a comic in the 1970s but we’ll move on. The story doesn’t seem as involving as part one in TOD #18, largely because the focus is on Werewolf (duh, it’s his book) and the ending is very abrupt, with Jack overshadowed by Drac and his enemies. Mike Ploog’s art is great though it lack the gloomy atmosphere of Gene Colan on Dracula—and I think the shot of the bat with Dracula’s face on page 4 wouldn’t have looked quite so comical. And a couple of moments where someone makes a bad decision are overlooked. a) When Drac shoots down the helicopter, he misses the opportunity to follow it and kill Frank and Rachel on the ground. And b) Why did Rachel use her crossbow to shoot the diary out of Drac’s hand when it would have solved so many more problems to just shoot Drac, who, after all, didn’t know she was there so it would have been an easy one. Oops. But the big question: what is Dracula’s inner conflict as divined by Topaz? I don’t recall this coming up in his own book. Well, we’ll see.

Comments: Crossover with TOMB OF DRACULA #18. The Russoff diary contains the Montesi formula that would destroy all vampires, copied from the Darkhold, as revealed in TOMB OF DRACULA #19.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Werewolf by Night #15 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Story continued from TOMB OF DRACULA #18.

At his castle, Count Dracula prepares to feast on the blood of the Werewolf but the beast is able to fight him off so that the sorceress Topaz can use her powers to force the vampire away. Dracula gives up and flies off to prey on a less-formidable victim. As Topaz and Werewolf escape, she describes the power of Dracula as well as an inner conflict and she is now drained, physically and mentally….

Meanwhile, Frank Drake and Rachel van Helsing arrive via helicopter, having pursued Dracula from Paris. But the vampire spies them and, in bat form, attacks Frank so that he loses control of the copter though he manages to pull out of it at the last minute….

The next day, Jack and Topaz manage to open his father’s magically sealed diary and begin reading. The story begins in 1795 when his ancestor Grigory Russoff discovered his wife had been killed by Count Dracula. Russoff tracked the vampire to his lair and dispatched him with a stake to the heart. Searching the castle, Russoff discovered a woman named Lydia imprisoned by Dracula; he set her free then discovered she was a werewolf. She bit Russoff and the curse of the werewolf has descended though Frank’s family ever since….

Rachel and Frank are attacked by Dracula in mist form at their hotel but Dracula senses that the Russoff diary which he seeks has been opened; he fears the diary contains the secret of his death. Back at the castle, Dracula decides to sabotage Frank and Rachel’s copter but the Werewolf, able to retain Jack’s consciousness via Topaz’s magic, arrives to confront him. They battle until Dracula spies Topaz standing nearby holding the diary. Dracula seizes it from her but Rachel arrives to shoot it out of his hands with a crossbow bolt. Rachel and Frank run to the copter with the book and take off, Dracula in pursuit. Werewolf and Topaz just stand and watch….

Mike Ploog
Frank Chiaramonte
Petra Goldberg
Mike Ploog (Cover Penciler)
Mike Ploog (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: John Costanza.


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