Cover Date: September 1974
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Don Heck
Inker: Frank McLaughin
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: L. Lessmann
Editor: Roy Thomas
Main Characters: Dracula, Kate Fraser, & Inspector Chelm
SYNOPSIS: Young Annie Malcolm runs for her life from an unknown menace. Just when she is about to reach the safety of D'Aire Manor, she is struck down by a caped figure.
Inspector Chelm and his assistant Kate Fraser are investigating a series of murders in which eleven young women have had their blood drained. Chelm tells Fraser that he needs her talent at psychometry for the case. The two meet with an elderly man named Old Amos. When Fraser goes through Malcolm's possessions she finds a star shaped amulet. Her power of psychometry kicks in and she has a flashback to a human sacrifice in which she is the sacrifice. Fraser tells Chelm that Dracula is not behind the murders.
Dracula is in London where he tries to woo a barmaid. She has him thrown out of the bar but she soon pays for her action when Dracula attacks her while she is walking home. Afterwards, Dracula hears a newboy crying out of vampire murders in Northumberland. Dracula knows that his hunters believe him to be dead. However this vampire's attacks may put his enemies on his trail again so he sets out to investigate.
The next day, Kate Fraser pays a visit to Lord D'Aire's mansion. She spies an authentic Norse runeboard and notices stars on it that resemble the amulet she took from Annie Malcolm. When Fraser goes to set the amulet in the rune board, D'Aire shouts out that it's not time yet. Angered at Fraser, he kicks her out of his mansion.
On her way back, she sees Old Amos and admits that there is something about him that chills her to the bone.
Kate next meets with Inspector Chelm in a local bub. Annie Malcolm's fiance Nobby Clark makes a scene when he accuses Lord D'Aire of killing his beloved. Clark staggers out ofd the bar and heads for D'Aire Manor. His friend Tom Ashton follows him and the two discover an incredible room with bizarre statues and a smoldering pool. Nobby inspects the cauldron only to be pulled into it. Before Tom can do anything, he is engulfed by flames that come out of the pool.
Meanwhile, Kate Fraser is walking through a heavy fog when she runs into Dracula. The Lord of the Vampires cannot believe the uncanny resemblance between Kate and his beloved wife Maria. The two discover Tom Ashford's burnt up body. Ashton is barely alive and he warns Kate that someone (or something) named Y'Garon is after her.
Dracula tells Kate that she must leave the town. Just then, Inspector Chelm shows up, aiming a revolver loaded with silver bullets at Dracula. Inspector Chelm goes to arrest Dracula but the vampire easily eludes him by changing to mist and disappearing in the fog. Inspector Chelm and Kate leave the area. Old Amos then creeps up on the body of Tom Ashford and drains what remaining lifeforce Ashtford has left in him.
Later that night, Kate Fraser dreams of fighting besides a warlord against the hordes of Y'Garon. She falls to Y'Garon's and is about to be sacrificed when she wakes. She falls back asleep and is compelled by Old Amos to find Dracula and destroy him. She goes to Dracula's coffin but cannot bring herself to slay him. Dracula awakens and sees Fraser and quickly deduces that she is under Y'Garon's control. Kate falls into Dracula's arms as she thanks him for freeing her from Y'Garon's spell.
Just then, a mob of townspeople break in to destory Dracula. Kate helps Dracula fight them off and the two escape to Kate's car. Kate drives off only to swerve to avoid a man in the car. Lord D'Aire grabs her from the car and Dracula attacks D'Aire only to fall to an unknown assailant.
Inspector Chelm and a constable show up. When the constable goes to check on Dracula, he is bitten for his trouble. Chelm lashes out at Dracula only to be hurled into the air.
Dracula then spies a mysterious light emanating from D'Aire Manor. When he goes to investigate, Dracula is confronted by Lord D'Aire who is wielding a cross. However Dracula easily dispatches of D'Aire and resumes his search for Kate. His search leads to a trap as he walks into a room of incense. Dracula is tied up and watches as Y'Garon aka Old Amos prepares to sacrifice Kate Fraser in order to open a dimension to his otherworldly bretheren.
However Dracula breaks free of his ropes and goes after Y'Garon. In a fit of rage, Dracula believes Kate to be Maria and Y'Garon to be Turac (the Turk who slew Maria). Dracula battles Y'Garon and hurls him into the pool of fire. He frees Kate, breaking Y'Garon's spell and the two escape just before D'Aire Manor explodes.
Outside of D'Aire Manor, Dracula uses his hypnotic power on Kate to make her forget the horrors she has seen. He then thanks her for reminding him of the life and love he had when he was still human.
NOTES: Giant-Size Dracula continues with the numbering where Giant-Size Chillers left off. Not sure why Marvel changed the name of the book but I suspect they may have thought that Giant-Sized Dracula sounded more appealing than Giant-Sized Chillers.
In any event, this issue is a departure from the usual "Tomb of Dracula" fare. Not only does it feature a different writer than Marv Wolfman (Chris Claremont) but it also features a different artist than Gene Colan (Don Heck). The art is a big departure from what was seen in the regular comic and while Mr. Heck does a workmanlike job, the book just doesn't have the gothic feel that Mr. Colan was able to evoke. As for the story, Mr. Claremont gets points for creating a strong female character with Kate Fraser and this story is a departure from the usual "Let's hunt Dracula". Dracula plays the role of anti-hero well here as he battles to free Kate Fraser (who resembles Drac's dead wife Maria) from an occult menace.
This issue also introduces a new means by which Dracula can be subdued. Here, Dracula is weakened by incense. It's not made clear whether this is incense from a Catholic church or that of the pagan ritual taking place when Dracula is subdued.