TOMB OF DRACULA ISSUE NUMBER THIRTY THREE

"BLOOD ON MY HANDS!"

Cover Date: June 1975

Writer: Marv Wolfman

Artist: Gene Colan & Tom Palmer

Colorist: Tom Palmer

Letterer: John Costanza

Editor: Len Wein

.

Main Characters: Dracula, Frank Drake, Quincy Harker, Rachel Van Helsing, Taj, Saint

Synopsis:: Dracula lays dying, mortally wounded by Quincy Harker during their epic battle in Harker's mansion.  However if Harker allows Dracula to die, two of Dracula's female servants will kill Rachel Van Helsing.  

Harker weighs his choice over.  Rachel will die if he does not save Dracula but how many people will die if Dracula lives?  Quincy recalls the graveside promise he made to his daughter Edith in 1955.  He remembers how he promised her that he would never allow her to be turned into a vampire.

Then he remembers the attack at the opera in 1945.  He and his wife were attacked while watching the opera.  Dracula screams at Harker, telling him how he is tired of Harker's constant attacks on him no matter where he hides.  Harker goes after Dracula only to be hurled from their opera box seats down to the stage below.   Harker recalls how Dracula left the area with his wife.  Her half-drained body was not found until two days later and it took four months of transfusions to restore her.  Unfortunately her mental state was shattered and ten years later, she committed suicide after years of nightmares.  

Harker recalls all this to Dracula and he tells Dracula that once again, Dracula has had his way and broken Harker.  He pulls the arrow out, restoring Dracula to life.  Dracula tells Harker he will keep his word "for once"and that Van Helsing can be killed at a future date of his choosing. Harker tells Dracula that someone is robbing him of his vampiric powers and that Dracula has but two weeks to live.  He tells Dracula that he will kill him when he is at his weakest, a notion that Dracula scoffs at due to five centuries of surviving.  Dracula tells Harker that he is an old man with little time left.  He will miss his games of hunter and hunted and tells Harker that it will a long time before he has a foe of his caliber.  Then before he leaves, Dracula takes an urn containing the ashes of Edith Harker and shatters the urn.

Meanwhile in India, Taj and his wife stand over the grave of their recently slain vampiric son Adri.  Taj's wife tells him that it was for the best that he died.  Taj leans over and kisses her . Then he wheels her wheelchair off into the sunset.  

NOTES: The relationship between Dracula and Quincy Harker is further developed in this issue.  We see that Harker has lost everyone dear to him as well as much of his physical health. We also discover why Harker is confined to a wheelchair (A prior story has Harker mention that a coven of vampires was responsible but he probably did not want to give out the real reason back then).  We also learn that Harker has been a considerable thorn in Dracula's side throughout the century.  Harker and his agents had interefered with Dracula's plans to the point of driving him into hiding.  However no matter where Dracula went, Harker or one of his agents hounded Dracula.  Finally, Dracula struck back and went after Harker and his wife.

One can only imagine what terrible things were inflicted on Rachel Van Helsing by Dracula's two female vampires but she is clearly terrified in the story, something that is rare for her.

http://aa.static.facdn.com/v/img/1x1.gif