Cover Date: February 1977
Writer/Editor: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Michele Wolfman


Main Characters:  Dracula, Domini, Blade, Hannibal King, & Daimon Hellstrom
Synopsis: Hannibal King walks through a cemetary looking for the recently dug grave of Blade.   King is accompanied by reknowned excorcist Daimon Hellstrom.    After digging up Blade's grave, King recalls to Hellstrom how Blade was killed by Dracula after Blade's vampiric doppleganger absorbed him into his body.  

Hellstrom transforms into his other nature, the Son of Satan and tells King to remove the stake from Blade's heart.  King does and the vampiric Blade returns to life.   As he does, Hellstrom uses soulfire to split the Blade hybrid back into its vampiric and human forms.   The vampiric Blade goes after King but King quickly stakes him, killing him.  King decapitates Blade and Hellstrom finishes the vampire off by stuffing his mouth with garlic.   Blade thanks Hellstrom for restoring him.

Elsewhere, Dracula watches over his pregnant wife Domini.   Their son will arrive in a month and he wants her to be healthy so his son will be strong.   Dracula leaves Domini to hunt for blood.   He spots a woman walking the streets of Boston but spares her when he sees she is walking with her child.  Dracula finds another victim and takes his life and his blood.

Back at Blade's apartment, Blade and Safron have a heartfelt reunion.   However the reunion is short as Blade and King have unfinished business with Deacon Frost.   King tells Blade that he turned into a bat and followed Frost back to his lair.   He takes Blade to a cemetary where they dig up a grave.   The grave leads to an underground complex which serves as Deacon Frost's lair.   

King tells Blade that he looked into Frost's background and learned that Frost was a German chemist from the 1860's who was conducting experiments in life preservation.   This led to Frost securing the blood of a vampire and making it into a serum that he hoped would unlock the secret of immortality.  Frost experimented on a woman but was attacked during the experiment by the woman's fiance.   The two men battled and Frost was accidentally injected with the serum, transforming into a vampire before he slew the fiance.

Deacon Frost interrupts King, telling him and Blade that he has the power to create as many vampiric dopplegangers as he wants.   He demonstrates this to Blade and King by unleashing a team of Blade and King dopplegangers.  As the dopplegangers attack, King warns Blade not to let them touch him or he will be absorbed into his doppleganger again.

Blade and King switch up assailants with Blade fighting the King dopplegangers and King fighting the Blade dopplegangers.   Blade tosses a teakwood knife to King and the two men manage to defeat Frost's band of  dopplegangers.   Frost then changes into mist and retreats deeper into his lair.   King and Blade follow him where Frost is holding a jar of deadly fungus which he claims will eat the flesh from their bones.   Blade and King waste no time in dealing with Frost.  The two men throw their wooden blades at Frost, hurling him back into machinery.   The place lights up like the Fourth of July and King and Blade run away as Frost's lair erupts into flames.   Blade and King barely make it out of Frost's lair before it explodes.

Later, Blade and the Drac Pack watch as King prepares to head back home on a bus.   Blade and King bid farewell, both men grateful that they have finally had their revenge against Deacon Frost.

NOTES:
After a couple of years of build-up, readers finally get the payoff to Blade and Hannibal King's quest for revenge against Deacon Frost, the killer of Blade's mother and the vampire who turned Hannibal King into one of the undead.   It's hard not to be a bit disappointed as Marv Wolfman did such a good job building up the storyline over the course of many issues of the Tomb of Dracula. Still, the payoff seems worth it as we learn that  Deacon Frost is no ordinary vampire and that he has a veritable army of dopplegangers at his disposal.   His background as a scientist calls to mind the character of Dr. Sun but Frost has more of a gothic feel to him.

With the end of the Deacon Frost saga, the Tomb of Dracula saw the last storyline from the title's heyday.   There would still be good stories to come but nothing like the Dr. Sun storyline or the hunt for Deacon Frost.

The inclusion of Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan is a nice touch.   Hellstrom fits right in with the supernatural world of the Tomb of Dracula
and he doesn't overstay his welcome once he's served his part in the story.

One interesting note continuity wise is that Hannibal King admits here that he transformed into a bat to follow after Hannibal King.   In later stories, it would be claimed that King never used any vampiric abilities.  However this story makes it pretty clear that King broke his own code against using his vampiric abilities.