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October 23, 2010

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 1 pt 3

Welcome back to another week of groovy Marvel Horror in Ye Olde School Cafe’! This week we’ll continue to follow the fiendish actions of Dracula in part three of the Essential Tomb of Dracula!

When last we left off, Ilsa Strangway invited Dracula into her home. She wants to bargain with him to try and regain her beauty from years past. Dracula immediately tries to attack her, but she is ready for him with a crucifix in hand. Dracula cringes from the sight of it, and then the two talk about a deal. Ilsa tells Dracula that she will tell him the secret of her mysterious black mirror, in exchange for Dracula’s gift of immortality. Dracula agrees rather quickly, but Ilsa  isn’t too suspicious of him at first. The Count then bites her wrinkled carcass and the screaming ensues. As the feasting ends, Ilsa’s servant comes rushing into the room. He tries to approach Dracula but is pimp slapped across the room like a cheap whore. As the servant wakes up in the hospital, he sees Inspector Chelm, Frank, and Rachel. The hunters question him about the attack, and then they head out to try and pick up Dracula’s trail at the residence.

While the team is doing some recon, Dracula and Clifton are tending to Ilsa’s awakening. She immediately pops up and attempts to bite Clifton, but Dracula stops her because he needs his servant’s help. Dracula then demands that Ilsa tell him why the mirror is so special. She tells Dracula of how she found it at an auction and was drawn to it instantly. She then found a book that told of a black mirror and a spell to activate its power. The spell allows its user after reciting it to use the mirror as a time travel device to enter any time one wishes. Just as she tells Dracula the spell, the team shows up at the cave in time to see the two in bat form flying away. They decide that Frank and Taj will go to the house to confront Dracula, while Rachel hides inside the cave, waiting for one of them to return. We then see Ilsa kill two innocents in an alley, then Dracula swooping in on Frank to surprise him. He does catch Frank off guard, but Taj is waiting with a flashlight that has a crucifix on the front of it to cast a huge cross at him. Inspector Chelm also gets in on the act with his patrol car affixed with a cross.

Back at the cave, Rachel startles Ilsa when she returns to her resting place. She tells Ilsa that being bitten didn’t bring back her beauty, just kept her from aging further. Ilsa is furious, but then reveals that she didn’t give Dracula the entire spell for the mirror. She tells Rachel that unless there is a mirror in the time and place you want to go, you’ll end up in a world full of demons with no way out. At the residence, Dracula is cornered and retreats into the house. Taj is right on his tail though, and the two head upstairs one after the other. Just as Dracula reaches the room with the mirror, Taj sees him getting ready to jump in. As Dracula plunges into the dark mirror, Taj lunges after him, trying to pull him back, but to no avail. The two are sucked into the unholy nether-regions of the sinister glass!

In the next issue, we see Dracula and Taj tumble through time until they reach the center of this hellish mirror. Once there, Dracula realizes something is wrong and starts to fight off the hordes of beasts and demons that plague him. Taj is almost instantly KO’d, and Dracula doesn’t seem to care initially. He soon figures out though, that it might take him a while to get out of this realm, and he’ll need replenishing. Frank and Rachel then discern that they need some help in using the mirror and make a quick exit to the hospital to talk to the servant. Dracula then fights his way to some sort of exit that looks like something out of an Egyptian tomb. Once inside, Dracula sees a mirror and quickly throws Taj through it and follows even quicker behind. Dracula recognizes the area upon exiting the mirror, and it’s very familiar territory. They have landed in Transylvania in the days of Dracula’s youth. He dumps Taj into a coffin and then makes a game plan to kill the man who killed him later on – Abraham van Helsing!

We see Dracula with his normal shtick of jumping some hot young chick and draining her of blood. He does this to get himself full of strength for his battle against his arch enemy. Dracula sleeps, then awakens to find the townspeople rushing at him with torches and seeking revenge. He easily swats them aside and even bites some of the fools for his trouble. The others turn tail and run, in fear of their lives being ended. Back in the present, Frank and Rachel find the book and recite the incantation, and dive through hoping that their assumption is right about the Count being in his own past. The pair then hear a thumping from the inside of a coffin and investigate. They then find their friend Taj inside, and after a quick word go on the hunt for Dracula. They know there is one place he’ll surely show up, and that’s the residence of the man that killed him years later. On the way through the graveyard though, they are attacked by one of Dracula’s emissaries, Lenore, and she means to drink the blood of these young virile hunters right now.

As the hunters face off with Dracula’s mistress, he is tracking down Abraham van Helsing. The group eventually uses a cross shaped tombstone to force Lenore to flee, and the team then quickly arrives at Abraham’s home in time to stop the Count. Dracula is caught off guard and Rachel intends to use this to her advantage. She uses her crossbow to fire a shot directly at Dracula’s heart. Dracula is no amateur though, and with lightning fast reflexes, changes into a bat and flies away out of the window. The hunters are left wondering what to do next, but then Frank tells them to quickly get back to the mirror because there’s no doubt that’s where Dracula is heading. The team arrives just in time to see Dracula and Lenore leap through the glass to another time. Frank tells Rachel that she better remember that incantation or they’ll never see their own time again!

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more of this epic tale about the early time of Dracula in the Marvel U. Be here next week to see Dracula and the Hunters face off with the Monster of the Moors, and then the beginning of Marv Wolfman’s run on the best horror comic ever!

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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