Cover Date: June 1976
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
Colorist: Tom Palmer
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Marv Wolfman

Main Characters:  Dracula, Blade, Hannibal King, Anton Lupeski, Harold H. Harold, Domini
Synopsis: Blade and vampire detective Hannibal King's search for the white haired vampire lead them both to his apartment.   The two confront each other.   When King tells Blade that he believes they are looking for the same person, Blade scoffs at him.   Hannibal King easily defeats Blade and tells him that they should work together.   Blade tells him no way but King finally persuades him to give him a chance.   King tells Blade that they are looking for a vampire named Deacon Frost.   The two men discover a vamped out corpse in the apartment.

Meanwhile in Dr. Sun's former lair, Dr. Strange and his manservant Wong leave after defeating Dracula.   However we soon learn that Dracula is not the burnt out shell that Strange believed him to be at the end of their battle.   Dracula changes back into his normal form and it is revealed that he changed into mist when Dr. Strange called on the power of Jehovah to burn Dracula up.   Using hypnosis, Dracula caused Dr. Strange to believe that Dracula was burnt up in the battle. 

With Dr. Strange out of the picture, Dracula heads for the deconsecrated church he discovered the night before.   It will serve Dracula's new plan well for he intends to start his own religion and through it, to rule humanity.   Dracula walks into the church and sees that all of its holy relics have been abandoned save for an oil painting of Jesus Christ.  Dracula looks at the painting and it seems to taunt him.   No matter how badly he wants to remove it from the wall, he cannot bring himself to do so.   The painting is a reminder of the one force that he has always been helpless against.

After checking out the former church, Dracula visits Harold H. Harold to get information on the local Church of Satan.   Harold gives Dracula the information and gets back to working on his vampire story.  

Elsewhere Frank Drake, Quincy Harker, and Rachel Van Helsing discuss how hopeless their war against Dracula seems.  Drake tells them that they will get Dracula, he can feel it in his bones.   Rachel and Drake go out on a date and Van Helsing tells Drake that she doesn't like his new persona.   Drake tells Rachel that he loves her but as they kiss, Van Helsing thinks that there is something wrong.

Using the information that Harold H. Harold has provided him, Dracula goes to the meeting hall of the Church of Satan where a ceremony is taking place to marry a young sacrifice named Domini to the Prince of Darkness.   Dracula makes his presence known and takes control of the situation.  He tells the church members that they will follow him to the gates of Heaven itself.   Dracula notes that Domini's name means "belonging to God" and he announces that he will marry her in three days.  As Lupeski watches the spectacle he dreams of how he will turn the dark lord into his slave.

Back at Frost's apartment, King and Blade wait for the vamped corpse to come to life as a vampire.   When he does, King goes to interrogate him but Blade interrupts him and uses rough tactics to get the information he wants.   The two men learn that Deacon Frost hired the man to dig up a grave.   When the man asked for payment, Frost attacked him, turning him into a vampire.   The man then reveals to Blade and Frost what was inside the coffin-an exact duplicate of Blade.   He then reveals that Frost said that he was going to use the duplicate to rule the world.


NOTES:
This issue shows what a master storyteller Marv Wolfman had become in writing the Tomb of Dracula .   After the interlude last issue (where Dracula battled Dr. Strange), Mr. Wolfman wastes no time in starting the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Dracula.   Here, we see that Dracula has decided to form his own religion in order to rule the world.   This idea will be developed in future issues but we get enough of a glimpse into Dracula's plans to intrigue us.  

This issue also reminds us that Dracula fears the Lord.  When he is unable to remove the oil painting of Christ, he admits that God is the one power he has been unable to overcome.   Even so, Dracula plans to use his new-found followers to storm the gates of Heaven itself.   Here, we see that Dracula is no stranger to deluding himself as to what the end results of his actions will be.

While the plot dealing with Dracula's new religion is just beginning, the plot involving Blade, Hannibal King, and Deacon Frost begins to pick up steam.   After months of searching for the same man, Blade and Hannibal King come face to face.  Once again, Mr. Wolfman is able to weave the plot threads together with the hunt for Deacon Frost going from subplot to main plot. 

The dynamic between Blade and Hannibal King is fascinating as well.  We see that just because they are after the same man doesn't mean that they have to like each other.   As one might expect, Blade is none too happy to find himself working alongside a vampire.   However he gives in for the moment but the partnership (if it can even be called that) between him and King is shaky at best.