October 30, 2010

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 1 pt 4

Happy Halloween everybody, and welcome back to Ye Olde School Cafe’! This week I’ll be featuring the end of one story line, and the beginning of the Marv Wolfman era in Tomb of Dracula. The collaborative works between Wolfman and Colan are the best ever in the horror genre in my opinion, and we’ll be diving into it head first right now!

When last we left off, Rachel, Frank, and Taj were chasing down Dracula and his lackey, Lenore. The vampires jumped back through the dark mirror, but as they did, a certain beast was lurking in the shadows, watching. Dracula and Lenore then turn their attention to the thirst that resides within them, and go on the hunt for blood! Soon after, we see the team of vampire hunters dive through the mirror hoping to chase down Dracula. They run into Inspector Chelm, and he tells them what’s been going on in their absence. The inspector tells them about a girl that has been found murdered, with the blood drained out of her. He also tells them that some monstrosity has been reported in these very same moors for many years. The team immediately tries to pick up Dracula’s trail, and then splits up when the footprints seem to disappear.

Rachel keeps looking and eventually picks up Dracula’s trail. She follows it and then sees a bat flying towards the ruins of an old chapel. She heads straight for it, but then she finds Dracula’s ally Lenore instead. Rachel reaches into her purse to pull out a stake, but it gets caught and she’s defenseless against Lenore. Luckily, Taj and Frank have also made their way to the same ruins and rush to Rachel’s side when they hear her scream. They arrive to find Lenore and Dracula lurching over Rachel with bad intentions. Frank quickly aims and then fires an arrow from Rachel’s crossbow right at Dracula. Dracula swiftly pulls the arm of Lenore, and she takes the arrow to the heart as Dracula then runs away.

We see Dracula running into the dense fog, the entire time he is plotting about the demise of his pursuers. He remembers this part of the country and then formulates a plan to rid himself of these bothersome hunters once and for all. The team then takes the body of the servant girl that Dracula killed back to the residence of the Lord and Lady Dering. This is when the family decides to tell the team of a family secret that has been kept hidden for years. The Lord of the house tells the team about how every few centuries, a recessive gene comes to the front and plagues a male member of the family. The affliction changes the member into something more animal than human. This is the beast that is also the son of the Derings, and walks the moors at night. The Derings then tell the team of a castle nearby that Dracula could find a coffin in to use for the daytime. The team travels to the ruins, but after they enter a certain chamber, Dracula is waiting for them with a surprise. He has removed the lid from an oubliette (dungeon with a hatch) and tosses it at Taj, knocking him unconscious. He slaps Frank and Rachel silly, then tosses the two of them down into the chilling trap.

Frank and Rachel are left to wonder about Dracula’s next move, and about their friend Taj as well. Frank, believing he is going to die, tells Rachel that he loves her, and then kisses her. Before they know what’s going on, the lid starts to open. They think it’s Dracula, but they are surprised to see a giant hairy beast lifting the lid. The mutated son of the Derings has been watching and saves Frank and Rachel from certain death. After some thanks are given to the beast, the team walks off into the fog to ponder this night and their next move against Dracula.

Next, we see the Lord of the Vampires atop a mountain surveying his next move. He then swoops down into the backstreets of London to quench his thirst. We next see a woman at a pharmacy heading out into the night. She looks to the sky and sees a bat flying straight for her. The bat then changes into a man named Dracula! He goes right for her throat, but is surprised by the fact that the girl knows his name, and also that she’s wearing a crucifix. He angrily slaps her and flies away to find another meal. We then see the man named Quincy Harker hovering over the young girl, who also happens to be his daughter, Edith. Once inside their home, he sends a message to Rachel telling her that Dracula is back in London. The team, aboard a train now, listens to Rachel tell them about her grandfather, Abraham van Helsing, and Quincy’s parents, Jonathan and Mina Harker, and how they battled Dracula years before. We see a quick scene with Dracula returning to his room in London, and his servant Clifton Graves waiting for his master’s command.

Once the team returns to London, they meet up at Quincy’s place. He then shows them how he uses traps and newer technology to try and kill vampires. Frank seems unimpressed by Quincy’s gadgets, but then Quincy tells him about the struggle his parents and Rachel’s grandfather fought against Dracula. Quincy then asks Frank if he will help them. Frank agrees, and then the scene turns dramatically to Clifton waking his master from his daytime slumber. Dracula pushes Clifton aside to make his next plot against his enemies. The next thing we see is Dracula himself approaching a group of young boys playing with a ball. Dracula uses his extraordinary powers of mind control to enthrall the youths. He then commands them to follow him, and his group of young assassins does as he commands.

We next look into a local pub, where a man is getting drunk on his last night of freedom. He is to be married tomorrow, but he soon finds out that marriage is the least of his worries. He leaves the pub, but is attacked by a plethora of rats. He runs away, but is then assaulted by Dracula himself. The man screams aloud, and then his cries are heard by Quincy and his team. They run into the streets and pounce on Dracula. The Lord of Vampires is hardly impressed, though. Dracula tosses Taj aside, then body-slams Frank. Quincy’s dog attacks Dracula, but it too is tossed away like a flea. Rachel then fires an arrow at Dracula, but he easily avoids it by turning into mist. As Dracula is about to try and sink his teeth into Rachel, Taj leaps out of nowhere and puts Dracula in a headlock, and they both fall to the ground. While Taj and Dracula are grappling, Quincy draws near with a stake in his hand. Before Quincy can plunge it into his heart, Dracula turns into mist and flees into the night.

Quincy and his team eventually catch up to the Count, using Quincy’s car. Dracula lands on the top of an old fortress and the team moves in to investigate. Taj and Frank peek into a window and see Clifton and Dracula talking. Clifton follows Dracula to his coffin, and the team moves in for the kill. They quickly subdue Clifton, and then open the coffin to see Dracula slumbering inside. Quincy plunges a stake into the chest of the body, but then hears a familiar laughter from the other side of the room. The team looks up to see Dracula taunting them from across the room. He tells them that this is a trap and it was the body of someone already dead and disguised to look like him. Rachel is unimpressed and fires an arrow at him. He laughs, then leaps at her, but she’s ready with a crucifix to stop his assault. He then tells her that the holy symbol may stop him, but it wont stop his army from killing her. The team turns to see Dracula’s army of enthralled children that are waiting to do his bidding. Dracula then laughs at the hunters and heads for the door. Quincy uses his wheelchair’s devices to fire a few rounds of poison darts at Dracula. One of the darts actually hits Dracula in the arm, but it only slows him down. Meanwhile, Dracula’s army of children slowly advances on the team. Torn between wanting to pursue Dracula, and not wanting to hurt the children, the team is left wondering how they will escape this morbid predicament.

That is where we will end for this week, but stay tuned for more of Dracula and the team of vampire hunters next week, as we will explore Dracula’s foul deeds!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. I traded a bunch of these for X-Men comics when I was a kid. Stupid, ignorant, me.

  2. Billy

    @Speech- You fool! 😀 j/k

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