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Tomb Of Dracula Volume 1, The (2010)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Tomb Of Dracula Volume 1, The (2010) This collection of the Marvel Comics version of Dracula reprints issues #1-12, from 1972-73). The first two stories introduce Drake, a descendent of Dracula who has inherited the old Dracula castle in Transylvania. Basically, it's like a comic book version of a 1960's Hammer Movie. Drake is there with his girlfriend-and also his friend is her ex, which complicates things. Of course, he's up to no good and wants to sabotage their relationship. He's the one who stumbles upon Dracula's skeleton with a stake in it-and stupidly removes the weapon. Dracula materializes, kills him and eventually turns Drake's love interest into a vampire.Dracula looks a bit different than in the later issues, colored all white (like the sorcerers in Don Glut's DAGAR series). The second issue recaps the first and has Drake going back to the castle. He's brought a bodyguard just in case the vampire is still there. He ends up killing his girlfriend, who had been transformed into a vampire. The third issue has him extremely depressed about what happened. He almost commits suicide by jumping off of a bridge but is rescued by the great-granddaughter of Harker, the vampire killer. It's at this point that the group begins to form that fights Dracula, which eventually will include the wheelchair-bound vampire hunter Quincy Harker and his daughter, the Indian Taj and Blade.

There's also a story of a former model who approaches Dracula to give her back her youth-and he complies, though easily disposes of her in order to save his own undead life. Dracula also travels through a dimensional portal, where there's demonic beings he has to battle. Other vampires are introduced, some who are not evil and just when you think Drac can't get more despicable he saves the life of a human who helps save him when a crowd of angry villagers is after him. He praises the human, saying that he shows "remarkable intelligence" and that he'd be a great advantage to join him as a vampire. The guy declines but Dracula tells him he has his protection and friendship. Perhaps the most interesting thing in this book is the very first appearance of Blade, the Vampire Slayer. The character is extremely different than in the Wesley Snipes movies-remember, this is the early 70's, so his outfit and speech reflect this.

I haven't read these stories in decades and while they are a bit simplistic are still entertaining. I also hadn't realized that the television show DARK SHADOWS (airing on television around the same time) seems to have had an influence on this series....

Writers: Marv Wolfman, Gerry Conway, Gardner Fox

Artist Gene Colan

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