Marvel | Back To Tomb Of Dracula | April 1972 | Volume 1 | USA | 166 Owned

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April 1972
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    Stories May contain spoliers

    * 1st APPEARANCE "DRACULA" (in MARVEL Comics)

    Frank Drake a descendant of the legendary Count Dracula, has come to Transylvania with his girlfriend Jean. Frank has inherited the Count's 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 there are superstitious, believing all the old tales of Vampire lore. Seeking 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 spent some time researching his family's past, and reading the diaries of his family and that of Van Helsing as well. Convinced that Castle Dracula could be turned into a tourist destination, Frank agreed to go on this expedition.

    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. Jean considers how their travels have changed both Frank and Clifton, while 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 Castle's 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 its 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 stake's 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. When Dracula attempts to attack, Frank pulls out Jean's silver compact. Silver is one of a vampire's weaknesses, and Dracula is forced to transform into bat form to flee the scene and find sustenance elsewhere.

    Dracula does find it in a 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
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    Comic Cover for Tomb Of Dracula (#1)
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