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Cover Date: December 1973
Cover Price: US $ 0.20
Issue Tagline: But--How Long Will A Vampire Stay Dead!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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Following his recent brush with death, Dracula hides out in London and thinks about his escape from the vampire hunters after he killed Reverend Josiah Dawn. Fleeing into the night in his bat form, Dracula would get shot out of the sky by a nearby hunter named Vinnie. Vinnie finds his find strange, but decides to take it as a trophy anyway. Reviving, Dracula is furious that he is been shot and attacks his foe. Vinnie escapes and flees into the woods, however Dracula sends an army of rats, wolves and bats to finish him off. His reflections then take him back to his first victim as a vampire: Turac, the man who invaded his kingdom, left Dracula in the hands of a gypsy who turned him into the vampire he is today, and murdered his beloved Maria. Dracula reflects with satisfaction over turning Turac into a vampire himself. His thoughts of his wife makes him reflect on his love of her and his opinions toward how man and woman treat themselves. He recalls how one night not too long ago, he happened upon young Richard and Kitty, a couple that have been fighting. Driving down the road after another argument, Kitty tells Richard that she is having her lawyer write up divorce papers. Not willing to accept divorce as an option, Richard pulls out a gun and shoots her in cold blood on the side of the road, revealing that he never loved her and was only interested in her money. Her dying body found by Dracula, and he asks her if she wishes to get revenge. The girl confirms this and Dracula then feeds on her turning her into a vampire. She would return to the home that she shared with Richard to find him there with another woman, and as expected would feed upon him.
While reflecting on deceptions, Dracula recalls a time when he was deceived by an old man named Orphelus. He recalls how not long ago Orphelus called for Dracula to his home and told the vampire lord about how centuries ago he had found an ancient pool of blood that would restore one to their youth. Orphelus, now a withered old man asks Dracula to take him back to that pool to restore his youth one more time, and in exchange for allowing him to feed out of the pool, making it so that Dracula would not have to feast upon humans again. Finding the idea intriguing, Dracula would take Orphelus to the pool, however Orpheus reveals his deception: That he did not come to the pool to regain his youth, as the pool in reality only granted immortality, and after 17 centuries of life he wished to end it all. Using a medallion of mystical properties, Orphelus kills himself in destroying the pool, leaving Dracula with nothing for his troubles. Finished writing down his reflections, Dracula leaves his hiding place to take in the night and reflects back on the events that led to his skeletal remains being found by Frank Drake and Clifton Graves. It was during the evening in which the first man landed on the Moon, Dracula had prepared a number of coffins to be shipped from Transylvania to London, as he intended to move back there for some time. Returning to his castle for some last minute provisions however, Dracula came upon the Scotsman, the man who would succeed in impaling Dracula with the faithful stake that Clifton Graves would pull from his chest in modern times.
During their struggle, the Scotsman would impale Dracula through the heart, however before Dracula could crumble into mere bones, he would succeed in tossing the Scotsman down into a pit, the fall killing his attacker. Dracula would then stumble into his coffin where his flesh would dissolve off the bones. With his evening reflections done for the night, Dracula muses that no matter who attempts to kill him he always returns, and that no force can stop him from ever rising from his tomb.
by Nick Peron
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Unknown cover inker. Modifications by Romita.
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