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Jan 5 17 5:01 AM
Tomb of Dracula #16:
Return from the Grave!
by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
Another little macabre masterpiece by the Drac team-supreme.
Wolfman and co were really on a roll here with this powerful standalone issue.
It’s comparable to the kind of stuff Marv’s pal Len Wein was doing over at DC on Swamp Thing and Phantom Stranger, but as far as I’m concerned, Marv was a much better writer. Wein’s horror seemed to be solely fueled by Universal Monsters and was quite clichéd, whereas Marv’s Dracula was genuinely horrific at times and oozed mood. Of course, Wein’s partners-in-grime over at DC, Wrightson and Aparo, were moodmeisters themselves, but that came more from their artwork than Wein’s scripts.Marv and Gene had a fine symbiotic relationship, Gene’s penchant for mood feeding off Marv’s dark imaginings.
This issue pits Dracula against a living skeleton, who only
longs to be left to rest in peace in his own grave.
The story is rife with atmosphere
as Drac stalks through mist-shrouded cemeteries in search of his quarry, who
has inadvertently incurred his wrath by interrupting his hunt.
tracks him down like an unrelenting predator, not given to losing his head
…unlike his skeletal adversary.
It was also a memorable issue because it introduces another
important character to the cast; Inspector Chelm of Scotland Yard.
Irony and subtly are the first casualties
in the eternal battle of wits between people divided by a common language. So read between the lines or you'll fall through the cracks...
....Quoting other people is no substitute for thinking for yourself...
Jan 5 17 7:25 AM
deejayway wrote:garuda wrote:Surely Brother Voodoo must be next...
Beware of what you wish for. Voila:
Strange Tales featuring Brother Voodoo: 169-173
by Len Wein & Gene Colan
garuda wrote:Surely Brother Voodoo must be next...
Jan 5 17 9:24 AM
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Jan 6 17 8:17 AM
deejayway wrote:And I think you're overstating the perceived problem. Black Panther was NEVER written like a 'Marvel Black' by anyone from the very start. Neither was Brother Voodoo.
They're about the only non-American black characters I can think of from the period...which is kinda sad.
Jan 6 17 8:29 AM
Jan 6 17 12:01 PM
deejayway wrote:Do you think it is worst that writers in the 70s tended to write all blacks like ghetto gangstas or that they wrote most Brits like either Lord Fauntleroys, Dick van Doiyck or yokels. Or for that matter, Germans like they were POW Camp commanders (see ToD #17) or Frenchmen like they were all Clouseau.
The ignorance you refer to wasn't just reserved for blacks and I dare say it's the same today.
Jan 13 17 7:32 AM
Tomb of Dracula #17:
Death Rides the Rails
by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
issue is a bit of a weird duck. It opens with a bang, but quickly devolves into
a farcical comedy-of-errors.
out Drac had another reserve coffin stowed away near Versailles. Fancy that. He commands one of his mind controlled minions to prepare his 'bed'.
The next day, Drac is riding the rails through Germany, on his way to Transylvania.
He has his own comfy, little sleeper compartment.
Frank and Rachel are on the
same train, as are an unlikely couple called Monsieur Granet and Herr Gruber.
The duo, the former a Frenchman and the latter a German, are like refugees from
Hogan’s heroes. If you winced at Blade’s ‘ghetto rap’, Granet and Gruber’s
stereotypical dialogue will send you into cringing paroxysms.
He’s not the only person on the train with secrets, as
certain a young American called Jack Russell is also on board.
What's his sinister secret? Stay tuned. Elsewhere
on the northern Irish coast (of all places), another familiar face returns to
the stage: The vampire Brand.
Remember him? The biker who Drac sank his fangs
into in issue 11 and whose corpse had been spirited away from a morgue in issue
13 by Asian-looking agents. Well, it turns out they were Chinese and followers
of Doctor Sun, an evil mastermind straight out of a James Bond novel.
restored Brand to his full vampiric glory and his savagery and mercilessness
rivals that of Dracula himself.
on the tracks, there is a chilling seen in which a young boy plays ‘stick ‘em
up’ with Dracula before the cruel count subjects the boy’s young mother to his
tender mercies. The scene is so effective because of what it doesn’t show,
rather than what it does.
That kind of (code enforced ) subtlety and coyness is
much missed in today’s anything goes comics.
Then the book turns into a slapstick film with one lame
misunderstanding after another. Gruber’s paranoia and anxiety is almost
palpable as he imagine unseen assailants at every turn.
He dispatches Granet to
beard Dracula in his lair because he thinks Drac is working in tandem with
Rachel and Frank in pursuit of Herr Gruber.
The count sends Granet careening
through a widow to meet his death on the rails.Blood
on the tracks.Then
Frank and Rachel appear on the scene for another inconclusive, ineffectual
tussle with Dracula.
Gruber faces Dracula, the embodiment of all his fears and nightmares.
than surrender his case to Dracula, he hurls himself from the train and his
death. Unbeknownst to Gruber, however, Dracula had no idea who he was and had
no interest in him at all.A
nice slice of irony.
by the turn of events, Drac transform into a bat and decides to wing it the
rest of his way to Transylvania for a rendezvous with fate. Things promise to
get hairy next issue. That story ends with a minion of Doctor Sun – Gruber’s
true pursuer - retrieving the mysterious attaché case. Wheels within wheels.
Ah, just read the frickin' comic...
Jan 13 17 9:28 AM
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