blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Tomb of Dracula (1972) #32

Tomb of Dracula  32Well. Writer Marv Wolfman reveals a lot this issue; it’s almost entirely nonsense, but there’s a lot of it. There are conclusions (of sorts) to Taj’s Indian sojourn and Frank Drake’s South American capitalist exploitation. Taj can’t stop the villagers from breaking in to kill his vampire son; Frank discovers he’s surrounded by worker zombies who move to kill him after he says hello to one of them. Not sure what they’d have done if he had ignored them.

It’s all part of Dracula’s plan, which includes something for Rachel, too—teased in an editor’s note but not revealed until the cliffhanger. He’s spent a dozen issues maneuvering nemesis Quincy Harker’s friends away, and now it’s time to strike. Despite Wolfman dragging out these subplots for ages, they make almost no sense, given Dracula’s plots over the same issues. He’s going to Harker’s now because Harker has a file about how Dracula is losing his powers. Like a white paper. Dracula apparently knows he’s losing strength, but not why, nor does he know the author of the white paper.

So Dracula had been isolating Harker—though, not really because Frank Drake’s just a shitty white guy who abandoned the vampire hunters—just in case he had need to call on him for a MacGuffin. Harker’s finally got the MacGuffin handy.

In the ensuing “battle, “ Dracula runs afoul of all Harker’s traps in the house. Or if he doesn’t get caught in one, Harker shows it to Drac to humble brag. All the while, Harker narrates in the present tense—presumably his internal monologue—and it’s awful. There’s this gorgeous Gene Colan and Tom Palmer art and this terrible narration from Wolfman. So much terrible narration.

But the narration isn’t the only problem: we’ve already seen Dracula in a trap house before. Maybe not this exact one, but he’s done a haunted house, he’s done a trap skyscraper… put them together, and it appears Dracula hasn’t learned shit over thirty issues; good thing for Harker.

We also learn why Harker wears dark sunglasses all the time. It’s a strange detail, revealing Dracula hasn’t just been incompetent since waking up in Tomb .

The cliffhanger promises we’ll get more resolution next issue, but I’m not sure I believe Wolfman.

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