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Cover Date: April 1972
Cover Price: US $0.20
Issue Tagline: Night of the Vampire
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 25 pages
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Frank Drake and his girlfriend Jesse have come to Transylvania because a descendant of the legendary Count Dracula, Frank has inherited the Counts former home, a castle located in the mountains of Transylvania. Joining them is Frank's friend and Jean's former boyfriend Clifton Graves. The trio are driving in from London and their car breaks down along the way, as they push their vehicle, Frank notices that Clifton has been acting increasingly strange since they left England. Arriving in a nearby village, they find that the people of there are superstitious, believing in all the old tales of Vampire lore. Seeing a coach to take them the rest of the way to Castle Dracula, they only find a man named Otto, who doesn't buy into the superstitions of the people in town. Drake and his companions continue their journey despite the warnings from the townsfolk to turn away. Frank is convinced that he can use his inheritance to make Transylvania a tourist spot. Arriving at the Castle on their last ten dollars, the trio are dropped off where Clifton makes an unwelcomed pass at Jean. Looking at the castle Drake recalls how he he blew the million dollars he inherited along with the castle and reflects on the summer where he met Jean. With no money to show for himself he would attempt to get loans from his friends to no avail. However, when telling his friend Clifton about his ownership of Castle Dracula, Clifton came up with the scheme to turn it into a tourist trap. Drake would spend the next while researching into his families past, and reading the diaries of his family and that of Van Helsing as well. Convinced that the plan to turn Castle Dracula into a tourist destination Frank agreed to go on this expedition. With his recollection done, Frank and the others enter into Castle Dracula, inside the group is accosted by a group of bats freaking out Jean. The group splits up, while Jean considers how their travels have changed both Frank and Clifton, Clifton explores another part of the castle, hoping to exploit the situation and wondering what he ever saw in Jean. Clifton ends up breaking through some old floorboards and falls through to a lower level of the castle. Following the steps, Clifton leads himself into the Castles tomb and finds the coffin where Count Dracula's Earthly remains are kept. Opening the coffin, Clifton finds Dracula's bones with a wooden stake jutting out of it's chest. While plotting to kill Frank to take over ownership of the castle, Clifton removes the stake from the bones and begins to walk out of the room. Unfortunately for Clifton, he has unknowingly caused Dracula to return to life, his flesh and blood reforming upon the stakes removal from his skeleton. Dracula attacks Clifton who tries to kill the Vampire King with rounds fired from his gun. They have no effect, and Clifton is soon knocked out and tossed down a pit for Dracula to summon later.
Transforming into a bat and flying to the upper levels of the castle, Dracula happens upon Frank and Jean who have just come across the portion of the floor that Clifton broke through. When Jean once more panics at the sight of a bat, they are further shocked when said bat suddenly transforms into Dracula himself. Both are astonished, and Jean soon finds herself under Dracula's hypnotic thrall and walks toward the vampire, pushing Frank aside. Drake knocks Jean out and when Dracula attempts to attack, Frank pulls out Jean's silver compact. Silver being one of a vampires many weaknesses, Dracula is forced to transform into bat form to flee the sceen and find sustenance elsewhere. Dracula does find it in a lone girl walking alone in the streets of the village, and quickly feasts upon her before heading back to the castle. When the girl's body is found by villagers, they realize that Dracula is back from the grave and organize a mob to torch the Castle. When Dracula returns to the castle, he finds Jean sleeping in a bed all by herself. When he attempts to feed upon her once more, he finds that she is wearing a crucifix, which drives him back. This was all a trap set by Frank, who reveals to Dracula their common ancestry, and attacks Dracula further by showing him a mirror. Getting close enough, Frank tosses Jean's silver compact at Dracula, striking the vampire's brow. Although it causes Dracula pain, it only enrages him and the vampire lord is soon upon Drake, with the intent to kill him.
Jean wakes up to find Dracula attacking Frank, just as the angry mob of townspeople are approaching the castle with torches. Dracula meanwhile, uses his hypnotic gaze to make Jean remove the crucifix from her person and toss it out a window. As the townspeople light the castle on fire, Frank revives to find Dracula feeding upon Jean. Trying to stop Dracula, Frank uses the silver compact once more, forcing Dracula to once again change into a bat and flee the scene. Drank picks up Jean's body and carries her out of the castle where he tells the villagers that Dracula is gone. After the townsfolk leave, Frank sees to Jean and is horrified to find her dead. His tears are interrupted when Jean suddenly rises up, and explains to Frank that because Dracula did not kill her, she was transformed into a vampire instead. Seeing Dracula flying off, Jean then follows after him leaving Frank to mourn over his loss.
by Nick Peron
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