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Tomb of Dracula #50: Review

Nov 1976
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Where Soars the Silver Surfer!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tomb of Dracula #50 Review by (September 14, 2021)
Review: Aside from the characters running away from fights (Dracula versus the villagers, Hannibal King versus Evil Blade, Silver Surfer versus Dracula twice), the real significance of the issue lies in its unusual guest star: the Silver Surfer. You see, the gothic horror of Dracula doesn’t meld comfortably with the usual superhero milieu. Drac meeting Spider-Man in GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #1 just looked silly and I can’t picture Iron Man or Cap or the X-Men taking on the Lord of the Vampires. Dr. Strange was an exception as his comic allowed for a broader range of odd and unusual events, as seen in issue #44. But the Silver Surfer? Hard to say. Yes, he’s a character intimately tied to the cosmic sci-fi subgenre which is the polar opposite of the gothic horror subgenre but still…he also adapts to any realm of imagination. He’s not only a character but often a symbol of the questing human spirit or the desire for righteousness or some other metaphor that can be placed in an allegory or some other abstraction. Here, he’s “Good” as in “Good versus Evil” which is probably the most obvious and heavy-handed use of Silver Surfer in a symbolic way but it made for an exciting, if odd, issue.

Comments: There’s a bit of a continuity problem here: Frank and Harold were caught by Lupeski and his gang last issue; now in this ish, Lupeski and his pals conjure up the Silver Surfer to fight Dracula but at the end of the issue, Lupeski is back capturing Frank and Harold. Presuming he didn’t excuse himself in the middle of the fight with our protagonists to call up the Surfer and then return a few moments later (highly unlikely), then the conjuring of the Surfer must have occurred before Frank and Harold arrived at his home in issue #49 with the first half of this issue taking place before last issue. Yet clearly the Drac vs. Surfer battle doesn’t take hours. So, when did Lupeski call the Surfer? The letters page includes a contest to suggest names for Dracula’s offspring, with a real prize promised. 


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #50 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Count Dracula goes out at night to prey on a young woman victim but he is spotted by a crowd and, rather than fight them, he departs….

Hannibal King fights the vampire duplicate of Blade which has absorbed the original. After a scuffle, King stabs Blade with one of his own knives and while the villain is trying to recover, King leaps out of the window and escapes. Blade vows to get him….

Anton Lupeski has decided that, with Dracula’s bride pregnant with his son, there is no more need for Dracula. He and some followers head into a remote area and cast a spell summoning a champion who can kill Dracula: the Silver Surfer. Surfer, as usual brooding over Shalla-Bal and the miseries of mankind, vanishes from his sky path and is brought to where Lupeski awaits. Lupeski uses a magic gem to bring the Surfer under his power and fill his mind with the evils of Dracula. He awakens and reasons that if he were to destroy Dracula, he might be more welcome among Earth’s inhabitants. As Dracula is accepting pitiful tributes from his followers, the Silver Surfer enters the church through the portrait of Jesus Christ, challenging the vampire lord to battle. A cosmic bolt nearly hits Domini, enraging Dracula while the Surfer tries to apologize; Dracula takes the fight outside and they demonstrate their powers against one another, Dracula conjuring up a hurricane and summoning a swarm of rats to attack his cosmic foe; the Surfer meanwhile finds his body sluggish, as though controlled by some outside force. Dracula knocks the Surfer down and gives him the choice: quit or die. The Surfer chooses to quit and Dracula flies back to the church….

Awkward interlude: Frank Drake and Harold H. Harold have been cornered by Anton Lupeski and his cultists when Rachel van Helsing, packing her crossbow, enters to rescue them….

The Surfer, his mind free from Lupeski’s control, returns to the church to challenge Dracula once again. Domini intercedes for him, persuading the Surfer that she knows what will happen to Dracula and he need not be punished. Surfer sees the image of Christ in her eyes and believes her, taking his leave. Domini assures Dracula that the Surfer saw the future in her eyes and it was good….

Gene Colan
Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
Tom Palmer (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: John Costanza.


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