November 27, 2010

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 1 pt 8

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Written by: Billy
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Welcome to another week of blood dripping fun here in Ye Olde School Café! This week we’ll continue to look at the Lord of Vampires himself, as he fights against Quincy Harker’s vampire hunters, and then clashes with one of the most macabre characters ever. We will also watch as the groundwork is laid for a strike against Dracula that will possibly end his existence forever.

At the end of last issue, Blade had staked Dracula during a brawl with the hunters and the Vampire Lord. As the fight was gong on though, Dracula had telepathically summoned his lackeys to come to his aid. Well, they do, and the team obviously isn’t ready for that. The dozens of hypnotized fools break down the door and carry Dracula off into the night, while some of them stay behind to get revenge for their master. The landscape quickly changes to the Northern coast of Ireland, where a secret laboratory is being used to further someone’s hideous experiments. That someone is the enigmatic Dr. Sun, and he hasn’t shown himself yet, but his minions are doing his work for him.

We switch back to Dracula’s slaves, as they carry him to the graveyard, but then inexplicably just leave him there. While he’s resting there, a local priest is having a conversation with himself (and God). He thinks God is angry with him and wants him to do some kind of miracle. He then stumbles upon the casket that has Dracula’s corpse inside it. He gets the crazy idea to use the corpse of Dracula for publicity to attract more worshipers. The next day, the flier he has handed out reads, “the dead returns to life.” Frank and the crew see the flier and recognize the picture in it rather quickly. They plan on attending the meeting, and putting an end to Dracula by decapitating his corpse.

Later that day, the hunters arrive at the meeting, but they are stunned to see so many people there. So many that they can’t get to the priest before he pulls out the knife from Dracula’s chest! As the stunned crowd watches, Dracula’s body begins to reanimate. Blade flips his lid and yells at the priest for bringing back the most horrid villain of all time. The priest doesn’t believe Blade at first, so he has his followers restrain Blade and the hunters. Dracula though, as ever arrogant as he is, tells the priest that Blade spoke the truth, and now everyone will pay with their lives. The priest quickly pulls out a cross and when Dracula tries to flee, the followers get them out as well. Dracula has no choice but to turn into mist, because the followers are trying to subdue him and get a stake to end his life for the second time in as many days. As Dracula is hovering around, he and the priest face-off in front of the crowd. The priest uses his cross and Dracula can’t get near him, but he starts a war of words with the holy man. At this point, Dracula then summons a lightning bolt from the sky that strikes the cross and zaps the priest. As the pontiff lays dying, he tells Dracula that he has won, because his soul will be at peace with the Lord, and that Dracula will always lose because he will live a life of hate. Dracula scowls at him, and then tells of how he will be victorious in the end, and flies away.

The next issue (#15) shows Dracula writing in a journal and recounting some of his strange incidents throughout the years. He recalls a time when a hunter shot him while he was in bat-form. And then how he tortured the hunter by having rats, and then wolves attack the man. He then thinks of his vampiric origins, and how he was slain on the battlefield by Lord Turac, and then his body was taken to a gypsy witch who was actually a vampire. He then in turn killed Turac for killing not only him, but also his beloved wife Maria. He recounts a time when he saw a man and wife squabbling, and then the husband tossed the wife over a cliff because he wanted her money, and she wanted a divorce. He then asks the woman if she wants revenge and after she tells him yes, he bites her. She returns to the home a few days later and kills her husband for his crime.

Dracula then writes about an adventure he had when an old man approached him about an answer to eternal youth. The old man had found a pool of blood that when bathed in, would rejuvenate the person to a youthful form. The old man convinces Dracula to take him to the pool, only to double-cross him when they get there by using an ancient medallion to cause the pool to implode. After recalling some more of his memories, Dracula then remembers returning home to his castle one night to see a visitor. The Scotsman asks Dracula where his son is because he knows he came looking for the Count months ago. Dracula tells him that his son died at his hands and so will he! The Scotsman and Dracula fight back and forth until the big man shoves a stake into the heart of the vampire. Dracula was left in his coffin only to be found three years later by one Clifton Graves, and we know what that led too!

Tune in next week as we see Dracula up against a foe that can’t die, and also a train ride of death! Be here to witness “Return from the Grave” and “Death Rides the Rails.”

Billy Dunleavy



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