October 22, 2011

Ye Olde School Café: Vampire Tales vol. 3

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Written by: Billy
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Hey folks, it’s time for another spooktacular story in Ye Olde School Café! This week, we’ll be finishing off our look at Marvel’s Vampire Tales Tpb (trade paperback). We previously saw Morbius get a lot of attention, but in this volume, the vampire slayer himself, Blade, will get the highest page count. All of these volumes have the best comics had to offer at that time from a writing and artistic standpoint. Names like Tony Isabella, Don McGregor, and Doug Moench are just some of the defining minds behind the macabre during the 1970s, and artists like Tony Dezuniga, Don Heck, and Al Milgrom graced the readers with their fantastic styles. No more chatter, let’s get right to the final volume that contains issues #8-11 of Vampire Tales!

The first story I’ll talk about is a story called ” The Inheritance,” by Carla and Gerry Conway (story), and Alfredo Alcala (art). The tale rev0lves around three young friends that decide to go swimming one night. They attend a prep-school that is located in a very remote area. The property right next door is owned by an old man who is actually a vampire! On the night they decide to break curfew and go swimming, the old vampire watches the youths, then makes his move when one of the boys falls out of a tree and appears to be dead. The other two boys go for help, and the old guy helps the kid regain his faculties. Or so we’re lead to believe. Not too much later, the boy’s parents die under some mysterious and gruesome circumstances. It turns out to all be the plan of the old vampire to use the boy as an heir. Eventually the boy learns of his parents death and figures out the old man did it. He returns one day to repay the “kindness” that the old vampire gave him.

The next story I’ll throw out there is “Beware the Legions,” starring Blade! Written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by Tony Dezuniga. This is a fantastic story that tells of Blade recounting his origin, and also discovering a coven of vampires calling themselves The Legion. The are led by a woman that calls herself Marguerite, and her top soldier is Vierken. Vierken and his gang attack and kill a man named Billy Blue at a local whorehouse. The woman, Neva, that was his personal whore, goes to see Blade for help. Blade knows her and all the girls at the house, because that’s where his mother lived. He’s sworn to protect them in honor of his mother. Blade tracks the vampires to their home. He attacks before they know what hit them, but they are many and he is one. The Legion eventually overtakes him, and Vierken slowly moves in for the bite!

In part two of this story, after Blade has been bitten, Vierken then consults with his leader, Marguerite. She tells him that she’s been in contact with her master (Dracula), and they must kill Blade. When he returns, though, Blade is gone. He isn’t affected by vampire bites because he’s immune due to the fact that he’s half vampire. He kills off one of the Legion on his way to see Lady Vanity (the madame of the whorehouse). He uses her phone to call Quincy Harker to ask for help with the Legion. Before Harker can even answer him, the Legion smashes through the window and starts attacking all the girls. Blade tries feverishly to combat all the vampire bats, but is seriously outnumbered. The bats eventually get the upperhand, and slay all the girls in the house, leaving Blade on his knees near sobbing. Blade then tells his buddy Quincy to stay out of this war because now it’s personal!

The last story I’ll let you in on is called “Fast of Blood,” written by Doug Moench with artwork by Sonny Trinadad. This story is probably the funniest horror story I’ve ever read. Why, you ask? One panel with Morbius and a young lady that I’ll tell you all about later. The story begins with Morbius finding a secluded spot to be alone. He tells the woman that he wants to be left alone and never disturbed in his rented room. The woman agrees, but has some anxiety about his motives. As she leaves the room, she can hear him talking to himself, and gets worried. He uses his keen scientific mind to try and produce a serum to stop his blood lust, but fails miserably. As he is near a panicked state for blood, he notices a rat run across the room. He jumps on it, and yells at it. He then raises it towards his mouth for a late night snack. Just as he’s about to indulge himself, the door swings open and the woman who owns the house barges in. She screams in horror at what she sees, and Morbius shouts at her for entering the room unwarranted. As she is quivering in fright, he hurls the rat at her, and it smacks her right off of the side of the head! He then flies out of the window to search for something else to feast on that night.

Well, that’s it for now, but tune in next week, as I’ll be showcasing another great Marvel trade paperback that I actually just bought a few weeks ago, called Marvel Ghost Stories! Ghost Rider, Dracula, and many more will spill blood on the pathway to Halloween! See you next week!

Billy Dunleavy



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