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Apr 10 17 7:40 AM
Apr 10 17 8:02 AM
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...
Apr 11 17 2:47 AM
May 5 17 5:02 AM
May 13 17 1:39 PM
Tomb of Dracula #22:
..In Death Do Us Join
by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
the last issue or two of James Bond type action, Marv deftly switches gears and
serves up a great little tale of rural terror, which much better befits Dracula
than mad scientists.
At the conclusion of issue 21, Dr No…er, I mean Dr. Sun’s headquarters blew up, killing the good doctor, his vampiric crony Brand and leaving Drac’s destiny unknown, while Rachel and Frank escaped by the hairs of their chinny chin chins.
issue opens in neighboring Moldavia, part of the USSR (google it kids), where
in the remote village of Kamenka, a Slavic vamp called Gorna is threatening the
beauteous peasant girl, Petra. Petra’s peasant parents (no offence) dash to her
rescue and send him packing before succumbing to despair. I
mean, being a peasant in Soviet era Russia was no bed of roses, but it isn’t conditions
on the Kolchoz that is worrying them. No it’s their son-in-law, who is none
other than their daughter’s evil nemesis; Gorna, who could give Drac a run for
his money when it comes to ruthlessness and cruelty.
Speaking of Dracula, whither art the good count? Well, he is
prowling the towering mountains dwarfing tiny Karmenka, none the worse from
wear after escaping last issue’s explosive conclusion…with no explanation
After breakfasting on an unsuspecting couple,
Drac heads into
town, where we learn why the lovely Petra is being plagued by her vampiric
He is so insanely jealous that he threatens to come back from the
dead if she so much as looks at another man.
He eventually makes good on his
threat, by returning as a vampire and demanding his due as a husband.
The issue culminates in a clash
between Drac and Gorna,
who refuses to acknowledge the Count’s suzerainty,
in the end the undead upstart pays for his effrontery with his life. By ridding
the world of Gorna, Dracula unintentionally does a good dead by once and for
all freeing Petra from her husband’s cruel embrace.
Marv’s characterization of the
ruthless Gorna offers an intriguing contrast to Dracula. Certainly Drac is a
remorseless predator, feasting on men and women alike (but drawing the line at
children). However, he always remained a gentlemen, behaving deceptively
graciously and reassuring towards his female victims. He was not one to wantonly
brutalize or terrorize women, unless they had incurred his undying wrath like
Gorna, however, is an ruthless sadist
and bully, demanding total subservience and obedience from his wife. He has no
refinement or empathy, treating his wife like chattel and demanding his
He is an uncomfortable reminder of how many backward religions
and cultures still treat their women. Would that they too were turned to ashes
In some ways, the clash between Goran
and Dracula is symbolic of the clash between eastern crudity (in this case;
Russia) and European ostensible refinement. Both are brutal at their core, but
one is locked in the traditions of the past, whereas the other observes some of
the niceties of civilisation. You could say that Drac is more hypocritical than
Gorna and that they are both killers, but death comes to us all in various
guises and better a gentle death than a brutal one.
I have no idea where this metaphor is
going so fock orf the lotta yas.
Gene and Tom’s artwork is as
beautiful as always and their rendition of the waiflike, innocent peasant girl
May 14 17 10:17 AM
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May 14 17 10:47 AM
Hey there are actual people in here with me. Ha, ha, ha, I'm not locked here with you. You're locked in here with me!
Five Years Later wrote:It was a relief to finally end the Dr. Sun saga. I never thought of James Bond before but that makes sense even if it was a few years too late. Standard Marvel, always behind the trend. ToD #22 is a great return to form.
May 14 17 10:50 AM
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May 19 17 4:19 AM
Tomb of Dracula #23:
Shadows in the Night
by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
22 was a return to form and this issue continues the upward trend with another
gripping, self-contained story.
starts with a breathtaking audacious splashpage with its daring perspective,
which Gene pulls off with aplomb. Not many artists could make that angle work
and Gene does it apparent insouciant ease. I love the ceiling carvings.
are introduced to Sheila Whittier, who made her debut in Giant-Size Chillers #1
(which I don’t have to review). In that issue, Drac ‘inherits’ Sheila’s
ancestral castle through the intervention of one of Drac’s thralls in the
It’s an interesting development, as it once again reveals
that Drac has his hooks well and truly in the British establishment, using them
to enhance his power.
arrives at the castle, to claim his new abode only to discover that Sheila is
beset by some unseen menace who is terrorizing her. Her predicament and
pleasing appearance stirs Drac’s gallant heart (and loins, or is that just me?)
and he becomes her unlikely paladin.
even the most stalwart of guardians need sustenance and so Drac sets off from
his new abode in search of prey, stumbling upon meals-on-wheels in the guise of
Despite my jocularity in a jugular vein, it’s a chilling,
cruel fate is all the more moving because of the tiny glimpse Marv gives the
reader into her life, painting her life in broad strokes, making her a nicely
rounded person, someone the reader can really relate to and mourn.
was particularly adept at this narrative device, bringing people onto the stage
in tiny bit parts, but parts with real meat and bite.
had one of the highest death tolls ever in mainstream comics and the wanton
killings could’ve soon become meaningless, but Marv’s skill at characterization
neatly avoided that pitfall and of course, he was perfectly complemented by
Gene who had the uncanny ability of portraying real, breathing people of flesh
and blood…plenty of blood. Copious amounts of blood. Blood! Blood! Blood!
invisible assailant turns out to be the castle’s previous owner; her uncle
Dunwick, an old Satanist who soul his sold to old Nick himself.
He intends to
offer his niece – who is in reality his daughter (don’t ask) – as a sacrifice
It’s all very creepy-crawly with incestuous overtones.
Gene milks the
gothic horror for all it’s worth.
intervenes on Sheila’s behalf and end’s her uncle’s threat.
the end of the issue, Drac has established himself as the lord of the manor
with the beauteous but naïve Sheila as his unsuspecting servant.
that ends well.
winner from the ToD team supreme of Wolfman, Colan and Palmer. And things get
even better next issue!
May 19 17 7:22 AM
May 19 17 7:32 AM
May 19 17 9:29 AM
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