TOMB OF DRACULA ISSUE NUMBER TWO
"THE FEAR WITHIN"
Cover Date: May 1972
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Gene Colan
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: John Costa
Editor: Stan Lee
* Note: The credits on this issue are not too clear on page one.
Main Characters: Dracula, Frank Drake, Clifford Graves, Jean
Synopsis: Frank Drake returns to Castle Dracula and retrieves Dracula's coffin, hoping to use it against the Count. Along the way, he discovers that Clifton Graves is alive. He rescues him and they return to London where he informs Graves that he has sold Castle Dracula. Drake has plans for Dracula but his plans take a detour when he discovers his girlfriend Jean waiting for him. Drake soon discovers that not all is not as it seems- Jean is now a vampire! Meanwhile, Dracula prowls the London night stalking for new blood. He goes to a London bar and walks off with a woman after dispatching of her boyfriend and soon she's yet another addition to Drac's blood bank.
Frank Drake has managed to subdue Jean with the aid of a cross but he is unaware of the weak link in his plan. As Drake waits for Dracula to come after them, Jean hypnotizes Clifton Graves and convinces him that she is in love with him not Drake. Graves drugs Frank's coffee and proceeds to help Jean escape as Dracula enters the apartment. Drake is forced to battle Dracula, Jean, as well as Graves. He defeats Graves but Dracula throws him around like a ragdoll. In the melee, he grabs a piece of broken wood and uses it as a stake against Jean, only moments before she kills Clifton Graves. Dracula moves in to finish off Drake but he is forced to stop-the sun is rising! Dracula promises the war is not over and flees. The sun begins to fill the room and Jean is destroyed as Frank can only watch in horror.
NOTES: Frank steals Dracula's coffin, thinking that Dracula needs it to survive. But as Dracula notes, it is not the coffin that is vital, but the native soil inside. Still, the coffin holds something special (as we find out in later issues) and Dracula is eager to retrieve it.
Dracula still has his chalky white skin in this issue. A possible inconsistency, Jean is destroyed by sunlight and yet Dracula flees out into the very rising sun that destroys Jean. A possible explanation is that Dracula is able to resist the sunlight since he is Lord of the Vampires. Thus it is established that Dracula cannot stand in direct sunlight, a weakness from the film version but not Stoker's novel. Of course, the early TOD issues are full of inconsistencies as the writers tried to figure out what vampire myths to use.