Tomb of Dracula (1972) - #9
"Death from the Sea!"
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Gene Colan - 'Adam Austin'
Vincent Joseph Colletta - 'Vince / Vinnie / P. Zorito'
Art 'Artie' Simek
Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
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Cover Date: June 1973
Cover Price: US $ 0.20
Issue Tagline: There is No Escape, Count Dracula! Even You CAn Not Stand Before The Fire Cross!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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In the town of Liverpool a fisherman pulls up an interesting catch: Dracula, who has been slumbering in the water. Frightened, the fisherman gets some of the locals, not recognizing Dracula for who he really is they decide to take him to the local church thinking that he is dead. The church itself is run by Father William who swears he sees Dracula's arm move but dismisses the notion. Later when Dracula revives, he is horrified to find that he is in a church. Caused instant pain by the sight of the many crucifix's in the room, Dracula changes into his bat form and tries to break out of the church. However, he prove s to be too weak to escape. Changing back into his human form, the vampire then makes a run for the door and bolts out of the church. The locals gather around and are shocked to find that the man they pulled from the water was not dead. This causes Dracula to reflect back on the moments that led to him being in the water. He recalls leaving the dead body of Heinrich Mortte to find fresh victims to feed upon. Coming across two young lovers, Dracula attempts to feed on them, but suffers a brief relapse from the poison he was subjected to and is forced to flee the scene. Weakened, Dracula was found by a group of bikers who would attempt to rob him. Finding nothing of value, the bikers would beat him until they are frightened off by a police siren, however they would dump Dracula's body into the water before fleeing. Relating an amended version of this story so as not to betray his vampiric nature, Dracula introduces himself to Father William as "Mr. Drake". With no trains coming until Saturday, Dracula decides to rest up and get well while he is in Liverpool. When Father William offers Dracula to stay in the church, the lord of the vampires refuse. Dracula however does accept to stay with a young man named David and his mother. This counters David's girlfriend Andrea's desire to talk, however David has decided that he is leaving town in the next week if even if she refuses to join him. Along the way to David's home, Dracula learns of the boys desire to leave town because he finds that it is a backwater place and that he desires a more exciting life. Arriving at David's home, Dracula is introduced to his mother, Dracula thanks the family for their hospitality, accepts a bowl of chowder and "retires" to the room they have provided him for the night. There, Dracula dumps out the chowder, desiring nothing but fresh blood to sate his appetite. While out on the prowl for a fresh victim, Dracula happens upon Andrea, David's girlfriend, but decides not to harm her -- for now. He happens upon Gladys, a bar tender who has closed up for the night after turning down one of her patrons named Corker for a night of drunken romance. Hearing Gladys' dying screams, Corker goes to investigate to find her lifeless body. To his horror she revives as a Vampire and feeds off him as well.
Having returned to David's house, Dracula is roused by David who has come to ask Dracula if he might join him when he leaves Liverpool. Dracula tries to talk David out of leaving, telling him that the outside world is full of people who would exploit him. Their discussion is cut short when Corker, now a vampire himself, attempts to feed on Andrea. Her screams alerting David of the danger, he goes to the girls rescue while Dracula watches on. Meanwhile, in London, with no leads on Dracula's location Quincy Harker and his vampire hunters spend their time training when Quincy suddenly gets a phone call which he has to answer immediately. Back in Liverpool, Dracula steps in and order Gladys and Corker to cease their attacks on Andrea and David and orders them away. Witnessed by Father William, Dracula suggests that they return to David's home immediately. Realizing Dracula for what he is, Father William gathers the town folk together to kill Dracula and head toward David's home. Hearing Father William's claims from outside, David asks Dracula if it's all true. Dracula confesses and tells David to go outside of the house with Andrea and his mother. While the humans outside are distracted, Dracula makes an escape in bat form out the back window. Father William and his mob track down Gladys and Corker and stake them, killing them instantly. David then sends the others on a wild goose chase for Dracula, Dracula appears before David and Andrea and thanks David for his help. Dracula asks David for his assistance, however David refuses. Impressed by David's newfound devotion to Andrea, Dracula parts with the lad as a friend, resuming his bat form and flying off into the misty night air.
by Nick Peron
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