Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
Letterers: Costanza & Wohl
Colorists: Michele W.
Editor: Marv Wolfman
Main Characters: Dracula, Domini, Anton Lupeski, Rachel Van Helsing, Frank Drake, Harold H. Harold, & Hannibal King
Synopsis: Blade is dead, slain by Dracula. Now, Frank Drake, Rachel Van Helsing,Harold H. Harold, Hannibal King, and Blade's woman Safron gather to pay their respects. Safron tells Rachel that she promised herself she'd never cry when this day come, even though she knew it would. Rachel tells her that Blade was committed to the hunt as much as any of them. She tells Safron that Blade couldn't live with himself if he didn't try to stop vampires from destroying all that he cherished. Safron tells Rachel that Blade tried to explain it to her before and she didn't understand it. She tells Rachel that she still doesn't understand it.
Harold H. Harold tells Hannibal King that he's in shock as he's never known anyone who was murdered. King tells him that death isn't pleasant but it happens and the living keep on going.
After the Drac Pack and friends leave, Dracula visits Blade's grave to gloat over his fallen foe. As he does, he sees the mysterious figure who he saw at his party. Dracula wonders why his foe has returned to plague him.
Dracula thinks back to his first encounter with his foe. Dracula ruled a small province of Spain but wanted to expand to control the entire country. One day Dracula's men caught a spy and Dracula decided that he would personally execute him. However on the night of the execution, a mysterious figure arrived and Dracula ordered that the man be freed. Dracula then fled Spain, not sure of why.
In 1870, Dracula rallied his vampiric forces to march on Vienna. Dracula was storming the palace when the mysterious figure appeared again, once again forcing Dracula to abandon his plans. Looking back, Dracula does not understand why he relented in the stranger's presence and he still does not.
Dracula decides to study humanity to help him understand the foe that he faces so he goes to a movie theater showing Dracula. After he hypnotizes the girl at the ticket window into letting him in for free, Dracula mingles with the audience. A youngster asks Dracula if he wants popcorn and Dracula rudely tells him no. When a woman admonishes Dracula for his rudeness, he snaps and attacks her. The audience runs away, panicking as Dracula lashes out at them.
The theater empties out until Dracula is alone. Then out of nowhere, the mysterious stranger that has been plaguing him arrives. He tells Dracula that violence always follows Dracula because Dracula initiates it. Dracula asks the man if he's going to disappear again. The man (later revealed as Janus) tells Dracula that he has always been ready to appear whenever duty called. He warns Dracula that it will be months before he will be called upon to stop Dracula.
Angered and confused, Dracula orders the man to identify himself. Janus tells Dracula that he wouldn't understand. He reveals that his master has sent him to stop Dracula's plans for world conquest. Janus tells Dracula that his master has decreed that only He shall rule over the world. Dracula identifies Janus' master as Satan and tells him that the dark lord must be upset with Dracula impersonating him.
The two begin battling with Janus easily overpowering Dracula. Janus leads Dracula to a carnival where the two continue battling. Dracula realizes that Satan has imbued his foe with more than enough power to destroy him. Janus glances at Dracula and the Lord of Vampires is stricken with pain. Dracula flies away, wondering whether or not he is a coward, having run from the Silver Surfer, and now from his current foe.
As Dracula flies away, he is startled when Janus appears in front of him. Dracula calls on the elements to pour violence on Janus but Janus dispels the storms with daylight.
Meanwhile, Hannibal King meets with Safron and tells her that he an idea that she'll want to hear.
Back at the carnival, Dracula is running out of ideas to stop Janus. He tries to hypnotize his foe but Janus resists him with ease. Dracula attempts to flee. Has his impending fatherhood made him weak? As he wonders, Dracula comes up with one last plan. He hypnotizes the carnival patrons into attacking one another. Dracula tells Janus that Satan would not want humans to go crazy unless he was the cause of it.
Janus throws Dracula off of a Ferris wheel then flies down to the crowd where he uses his powers to calm them. Dracula capitalizes on Janus' distraction and stabs Janus in the back with a metal safety bar from the Ferris wheel. Dracula tells Janus to return to hell. Janus tells Dracula that he keeps saying that he is from hell and that he is a demon. Janus tells Dracula that there is another force which battles the endless fight between good and evil. Janus flies away and Dracula follows him until Janus flies into Dracula's church. When Dracula sees Domini, he asks her where the stranger is. She tells him that there is no one else here. Dracula looks at the oil painting of Christ and sees its eyes glowing with the same glow as Janus. Dracula cries out in terror as he realizes the truth.
NOTES: This issue introduces Janus (although he's not named yet), an angelic being sent to Earth to thwart Dracula's plans. Here, we learn of two other instances in which Dracula's quest for power was stopped by divine intervention. This is an interesting way of explaining why Dracula does not use his vampiric powers and legion of vampires to simply conquer the world. Dracula has tried this approach and failed.
In earlier issues, Dracula has stated that he realizes that conquest with force is doomed to fail, hence his new approach of conquering the world with religion.
Here, Marv Wolfman explores the idea of God stepping in to thwart Dracula. Marvel Comics titles tended to keep away from dealing with God however Mr. Wolfman was not going into uncharted territory. Earlier on in the 1970's, Jesus Christ showed up in a couple issues of Ghost Rider until He was retconned out. Here, Mr. Wolfman is subtle about Dracula opposing God but the clues are there for readers to pick up on.
Mr. Wolfman's use of Janus as a divine agent proves potentially problematic as Janus is depicted as easily dealing with Dracula. However the battle between Dracula and Janus is about more than who holds the greatest power. Janus has a plan for Dracula and it involves more than just a physical confrontation.