blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Tomb of Dracula (1972) #27


Great art in this issue. Like, top five Gene Colan and Tom Palmer Tomb of Dracula so far. Not just the strange variety of things—seventies British romantic thriller, zombie vampire movie, Ray Harryhausen picture. It’s a lot, and it’s glorious.

Unfortunately, writer Marv Wolfman goes overboard with his religiously-tinged script. He started it last issue because it was about a guy finding some magic statue from his Yeshiva student son’s perspective. This issue it makes sense if you remember last issue, but then it turns into this weird “Co-Exist” thing with Wolfman lecturing Dracula for being bad in the second person. It’s not You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, obviously, but also because Dr. Seuss wasn’t chastising the Grinch for not being churchy. Or, in this case, synagoguey.

But Dracula’s religious failings are the finale. First, we’ve got to resolve last issue’s cliffhanger, which had a still unseen new Bond villain dumping holy water on a caged Drac. Dracula escapes, of course, using two of his superpowers. Even with the nicely paced visuals from Colan, Wolfman plods through in the narration explaining how Dracula rolled a five so he could do the mist conversion.

Except, he’s just like misting out of a room. It doesn’t need to sound so hard.

I don’t think we actually find out how his escape resolves, either. It’s a mystery for next time and the Bond villain. Dracula comes to out by the highway just in time to intercept Yeshiva student David and his familiar, Shiela, who is low-key seducing David to get the magic stone tail away from him. Dracula assumed Shiela would tell David he was aiding in Dracula’s (actual) plan to conquer the universe with this Infinity Statue. Instead, they all bicker in the middle of the street, and Dracula sends a fire demon to scorch India.

Why India?

Dracula’s just a dick.

But it hits Taj, who’s moping around about still being on his endless subplot about visiting his wife and kid. He beats his wife. Not sure what he does to the kid. I think I remember, but no spoilers.

We also check in on Frank Drake, who’s down in Brazil, being a colonizing white guy. There’s a funny moment when Chastity the fixer gets off the plane and kisses Frank’s old rich pal hello, and the guy tells Frank he’s next. But no. They’re not going to be a throuple. Bummer.

Meanwhile, back in England, Rachel’s moping over Frank leaving her (not thinking he’s banging his way to South America), and Quincy has a new gadget.

It’s a packed issue; there are lots of varied scenes for Colan and Palmer to excel in rendering.

Just not a great script.

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