Monday, June 22, 2009

The Tomb of Dracula #1

Tomb of Dracula #1 - April 1972

Story - Gerry Conway
Art - Gene Colan
Inks - Gene Colan
Colours - L. Kindzierski
Cover - Neal Adams

Officially credited for the entire story, Gerry Conway worked on
a plot by Stan Lee (uncredited) and a subsequent script by Roy
Thomas (also uncredited) and quintessentially supplied the
dialogues. This team effort gave a fast-paced start to the story
of how the Lord of Vampires is resurrected.

Virtually broke, former millionaire Frank Drake ventures to
Transylvania together with his fiancee Jeanie and long-time
friend Clifton Graves after learning that he is a descendant of
the legendary Count Dracula and thus the inheritor of the
ancestral castle. Their scheme is to make a fortune by
refurbishing the alleged vampire count's estate and opening
it as a tourist attraction.

However, Graves plans to lure his somewhat naive companion
into the castle and then dispose of him, leaving himself in sole
possession of the lucrative business of running the castle.
Things quickly start to go anything but the way they were
planned once the trio actually reaches Castle Dracula. Separated
from the others, Graves falls through a rotting floorboard and
finds himself in an underground chamber, face to face with a
coffin containing a dust-covered skeleton with a wooden
stake protruding from between its ribs. Graves mocks the
superstitious locals - who undoubtedly desecrated the grave
of their former lord - by removing the stake and casting it
aside before he leaves in search of his companions - unaware
that, in the damp darkness of the tomb, Dracula has risen again...

The kick-off script was cleverly penned and used Bram Stoker's
plot from the novel as part of its background storyline, but opened
with the reanimation of the vampire in modern times, thus bringing
the story and its cast up to date and into a timeframe which Marvel
was much more familiar with than would have been the case with
the late 19th century.

The link between the original novel Dracula and the first issue of
Marvel's new comic book title was forged by introducing the last
living descendant of Dracula, an American named Frank Drake. At
the same time, Stoker's book itself becomes a link, as the existence
of this literary work is not ignored or denied (as could well have been
the case - none of the Universal or Hammer Dracula movies make a
direct reference to Stoker's novel within their storylines) but rather
portrayed as a grand misconception: the book is not, as everybody
thinks, a work of fiction, but rather an account of actual events.
This - fairly intriguing - approach was in fact hinged on the
standard logic of the Marvel Universe: if a well known fictional
character appears in a Marvel comic book, then this character is no
longer considered to be fictional, but rather a real entity - in which
case any fictional work on said character must be a form of factual
eye witness report. This way of handling the likes of Dracula or the
Frankenstein Monster has its roots in Stan Lee's very early conception
that Marvel comic books about superheroes were to be perceived as
being published in a New York City which was populated by these very
same superheroes.


Art Warriors said...

Aún tengo en la casa un viejo cómic muy rollito Creepy o 200 AD incluso del Hombre de la Máscara de Hierro Vs Drácula que me encantaba leer de peque! Gracias por provocar la regresión!!

MANDRA said...

Que maravilla, el Hombre de la "Máscara de Hierro vs Drácula" Que gran Cómic, lo desconocía por completo. Aun lo tienes en tu poder? Si es así, seria maravilloso poder disponer de la portada escaneada para subirlo a Draculand y hacer un comentario al respecto. Contribuirias así a este Blog mío de revision/estudio de la figura de Drácula.

Es un placer para mi provocarte una regresión de ese tipo, y mas con un Cómic como lo es la Tumba de Dracula, uno de los mejores Cómics que se han hecho sobre el Conde.

Si no lo encuentras no te preocupes yo lo encontrare estate tranquilo. Gracias por tu comentario Lord, siempre son bienvenidos.

Filo Loco said...

great stuff here ! thx for being with us ;-)

MANDRA said...

Oh! You´re Wellcome Filo Loco! Is a pleasure! XD