Tomb of Dracula (1972) #23

Tod23

So this issue continues from Giant-Size Chillers, even though the timeline’s off between that comic and the previous Tomb. Writer Marv Wolfman tries to retcon it a little, with the flashback to Chillers showing Dracula talking to his stooge about his Russian holiday, even though the Russian vacation went unmentioned in Chillers itself.

The timeline disconnect doesn’t end up mattering since the vampire hunters don’t appear this issue. I mean, Taj goes back home to India for a page (his last name’s Nitall, which means his name rhymes with Taj Mahal), but it’s only to keep the burner going on a C-plot. And to reveal Taj has a wife back home no one knows about.

I’m sure it’ll matter eventually.

Anyway.

Dracula.

He’s in a haunted mansion with tortured young woman Shiela. She’s recently inherited the house, and it’s been haunting her ever since she arrived; it also killed her boyfriend, but in a way no one would believe her. Except for Dracula; because when the house starts screaming and the wind blows from closed windows, it’s hard not to believe in haunted houses. However, Dracula’s still relatively unimpressed. He tells Shiela he’s seen lots in his years, and this haunted house isn’t special.

Of course, if it were literally slicing into his skin like it’s doing Shiela, he might have more of a vested interest.

After a couple flashbacks, Dracula decides they’ll solve the mystery the next night and goes out for a snack. When he returns (presumably very close to dawn), the situation has gotten much worse for Shiela, and he’s got to intercede.

In Chillers, Dracula decided Shiela would be his next familiar. It’s been long enough since Clifton Graves screwed up the job; he’s ready for (no pun) fresh blood.

It’s a solid issue; nice art from Gene Colan and Tom Palmer, and some decent character development on Dracula. He does, however, rant about his daughter, Lilith, being more inhumane than even her father… which doesn’t gibe with her solo adventures but whatever. It’s like they figured out the general Dracula timeline, but everything else is up in the air.

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