Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dracula Month Day 12: Tomb of Dracula #69

Today I'm looking at another issue of Marvel Comics' Tomb of Dracula series. This time it's Tomb of Dracula #69 (1979): "Batwings Over Transylvania" by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer. The ongoing plot in the later issues of Tomb of Dracula concerned Dracula losing his vampiric powers; by #69 he had regained his abilities but learned another vampire had claimed his role as vampire lord, making Dracula an enemy of his fellow vampires.

In this issue, Dracula returns to his homeland, Transylvania, with a heavy mob of vampires chasing him. Dracula finally flees into a farmhouse for shelter from his enemies, only to find the home is occupied by children whose devout mother has taught to defend themselves against vampires by outfitting them with garlic and crosses. For all that, however, the children don't realize their guest is a vampire.

It becomes an interesting situation as Dracula goes from looking to eat the children, to barricading their home against the attacking vampires and finally, to combat his foes, picking up a cross to ward the other vampires away, even as the cross burns his own flesh. The children are left thinking Dracula was heroic, little guessing his true nature. It's a clever situation and one of the best latter-day Tomb of Dracula tales.

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