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Tomb of Dracula #52: Review

Jan 1977
Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Demons in the Mind!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Tomb of Dracula #52 Review by (September 28, 2021)

Review: Now this is different. Comic books frequently feature demons and monsters and vampires, the usual Evil in “Good versus Evil” but disappoint when it comes to the Good. They are usually human heroes, dealing with flaws and human limitations but rarely angels. And when they do appear, they are generally portrayed as effeminate young men with white robes and big wings or as big name stars who have amusing flaws because these are always comedies (just saw THE PREACHER’S WIFE with Denzel Washington as an angel. Ick.). Yet in the Bible, even the harmless looking ones start by saying “Fear not!” which is a clear sign that even the nice angels are scary (and we’re not going to mention those “cherubs” from the Book of Ezekiel). In his “Space Trilogy,” C.S. Lewis was aware of this, as the appearance of a creature that comes from the very presence of a holy God would be overwhelming. And so we get something rather close to the orthodox (small o) Christian view with angels portrayed as direct servants of God, endowed with divine power, though the idea that angels can die is new. So finally Dracula meets his match in a spirit being who is much superior to a vampire in all ways, but Drac is spiritually blind so as not to recognize a holy creature. The significance of this meeting is merely that it takes place, establishing that God is a power player in the world of Marvel Comics and not a mere bystander.  That Dracula manages to “kill” an angel is a bit strange but it was either that or cancel the comic after Dracula is permanently destroyed.

Comments: First (full) appearance of the Golden Angel; last appearance too. Safron Caulder is called Safron DeVille here. The Dracula movie stars Louis Belski whom Dracula met in DRACULA LIVES #4; the vampirized Belski is killed in WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #19, his only other appearance. John Costanza and Denise Wohl collaborated on the lettering.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tomb of Dracula #52 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Blade (the doppelganger), killed by Dracula last issue, is quietly buried with his vampire-hunting colleagues (Frank Drake, Rachel van Helsing, Harold H. Harold, Hannibal King) and his girlfriend, Safron Caulder, in attendance. After they leave, Dracula arrives to gloat over his fallen enemy—but he sees the mystery figure from the party last issue. He recalls their previous encounters: While ruling a province in Old Spain, Dracula had sentenced a rebel leader to death but the mystery figure appeared suddenly and forced Dracula to free the man with barely a gesture. Their second encounter was in Vienna in 1870 when Dracula led a vampire army to conquer the imperial castle but again the mystery figure sent him away merely by an act of will. Dracula decides to visit a movie theater showing a film based on the vampire. He has contempt for the human audience and when a little girl offers him popcorn, he rudely insults her. This causes a woman nearby to rebuke Dracula and he responds by killing her. The audience flees—except for one—the mystery man whose mission from his Master is to defeat Dracula. He shows his face, revealing golden skin, silver hair and glowing red eyes. Assuming that his foe is a demon from Satan, Dracula boasts and defies Satan. The Golden Man announces that one of them shall die that night. With the power granted by his Master, the Golden Man forces Dracula out of his mist form and summons a blinding light. He then transports Dracula to a circus where the vampire is to entertain the humans that he has always considered clowns. Dracula escapes but his opponent faces him on a roller coaster (!), the Golden Man constantly using his superior power to humble the arrogant vampire and proclaim his certain doom. Dracula draws madness down upon the humans as a defensive ploy but his golden enemy is able to dispel it. While the Golden Man is distracted, Dracula stabs him through the back with huge metal spike, claiming victory over Satan. The dying man corrects him, pointing out that there is another side to the battle of Good versus Evil; his spirit leaves his body and ascends. Dracula tries to pursue but cannot. He returns to Domini at the church but then notices a familiar glow in the eyes of the painting of Jesus Christ and, understanding, he screams in terror….

Gene Colan
Tom Palmer
Michelle Wolfman
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
Tom Palmer (Cover Colorist)


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