Tomb of Dracula – (1972) #2 Retro Review

Writer: Gerry Conway

Art: Gene Colan, Vince Colletta, and John Costanza

Price: .12 cents

Release Date: May 1st, 1972

If you liked issue 1, this one won’t disappoint! As Frank’s girlfriend has been turned into a vampire, and his castle is in ruins, Frank is out for revenge! Let’s see how this plays out…

Frank Drake has returned to Castle Dracula with a new friend named Gort. Dracula has escaped, so they’ve returned to his castle that’s been badly damaged by fire to get his revenge for turning his girlfriend into a vampire.

They eventually make their way to a tomb with candles atop it that is lit. While at the tomb the hear someone yelling for help and Gort opens a trap door. They find Clifton has been trapped by Dracula for days, and now feels as if he’s going mad. Then for a reason we don’t yet know, Frank tells Clifton that they’re stealing Dracula’s coffin!

We then get some more spectacular art from Gene Colon as we see Dracula chasing a woman

As I mentioned in my review of issue one, found here, the art adds so much atmosphere to this series!

Dracula then visits a doctor who has served him for years to have him help give Dracula a much less pale skin. Dracula thanks the doctor by turning him into a vampire for betraying Dracula to his killers when the doctor was just a boy.

So yeah, Dracula has a long memory, and holds a grudge!

We then switch scenes to London, where Clifton and Frank have brought Dracula’s coffin. Frank has sold the castle and surrounding lands and used some of the money to buy some leniency with custom officials so that they don’t inspect the coffin… Since Dracula isn’t inside, I wonder what is?

At his hotel, Frank hears a noise in the bathroom and finds Jeanie, his girlfriend! She claims that she’s “alive”, but Frank knows better. Clifton shows up and doesn’t realize Jeanie is a vampire, as she tries to make Clifton tell Frank that she’s “normal”. Frank shows a crucifix as Jeanie recoils.

Dracula is also in London and has set this whole plan into action. He stops at a pub, meets a girl, gets in a bar fight and “feeds” on the girl, all in quick fashion. He quickly transforms and heads to the hotel

Here’s where we gain some insightful info. Dracula doesn’t need his coffin to survive, he merely needs ground from Transylvania to be in whatever he decides to sleep in. He does, however, want his coffin back. Dracula’s plan is relying on Jeanie to take control of Clifton. She tries to trick him and tell him that she loved him all along, not Frank.

Clifton, not seeing Jeanie in a mirror realizes what is going on, but is torn nonetheless. Then Clifton while still under Jeanie’s hypnosis, drugs Frank, and Clifton, Jeanie, and Dracula leave. But Frank fights through the effects of the drug and fights Clifton and Dracula

As Dracula and Frank fight, Jeanie feels the urge to feed on Clifton. Frank does one thing sure to kill a vampire.

As dawn rises, Dracula concedes defeat in this fight and flies away, as Jeanie turns to dust…

Frank is then overcome with all the feelings that have overcome him in his quest for revenge. The end…

This second issue just picks up right where we left off. I was admittedly a bit surprised that we’re in London already. I hope the story gets us back to Transylvania soon though. If not, it’s not the end of the world. I thought using Castle Dracula as a tourist destination would be the perfect setting for this series. The creative team spent a lot of time setting that up so I hope it’s not forgotten about already.

Frank, I’m sure stole the coffin to lure Dracula to him so he could try and get his revenge, but with Dracula literally saying he doesn’t need his coffin to survive I’m not sure why Dracula is in London too. Or even how he knew Frank was there.

The cover deserves some mention again too. It’s very creepy. Dracula’s transforming from a bat on the streets of London as fog rolls past. It’s very well done.

With that being said, this was another really good issue. It’s just got such a different vibe than let’s say The Amazing Spider-Man. Sure there’s good guys and bad guys, but being a horror movie type setting, it feels brand new and fresh.

Final Thoughts:

Despite a few minor gripes, this was a very solid issue. The atmosphere that Gene Colon creates in the art steals the show in this one.


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