I’m resisting the urge to go back and figure out how many issues this day has been taking place–at least three, possibly four. Writer Marv Wolfman opens checking in on Frank Drake, who’s down in South America with some zombies after him. They’ve been after him for at least an issue, maybe two. Wolfman’s narration makes fun of Frank not being courageous, which is interesting since… we haven’t gotten anything out of him being a sap. Like, he’s not on some great character arc. He’s a jackass. It’s just never been clear Wolfman’s third-person narration thinks he’s a jackass too.
Then the action goes back to London, where Dracula’s fighting with the police. Despite the editors remembering to tell readers to pick up Giant-Size Dracula and Vampire Tales, they’ll miss the cops already suspecting Dracula’s nemesis, Doctor Sun, is behind Dracula losing his powers. Later in the issue, when the vampire hunting team gets back together—partially, Frank’s still gone, and then Taj is apparently leaving the book—obnoxious Inspector Chelm isn’t aware of Doctor Sun.
It’s messy, but it’s also the first time Wolfman’s had any forward progress on the plot in ages. There’s even a somewhat interesting hook—Dracula’s scared of dying again because he’s worried he won’t return–but it’s unclear if he’s justified. It’s better if he’s not, of course, because it’d be character development. Wolfman doesn’t like character development, though, so it’ll probably end up disappointing.
But it’s well-plotted. There’s the wrap-up from last issue, the vampire hunters, but then a new character shows up—fashion designer Daphne von Wilkinson, who hates all men and promotes incompetent women because she’s an incompetent woman too (the sexism pulses). It seems she’ll be important in the near future to Tomb. It’s problematic, but it’s also energy.
Great art, as always, from Gene Colan and Tom Palmer. The Dracula action’s particularly dynamic, then Daphne’s moody scenes are also phenomenal.
It’s better than the series has been lately. Fresh plots help immensely, even if Wolfman’s still dragging out Taj and Frank’s C plots.
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