Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blogging Marvel’s The Tomb of Dracula, Part Eight

The Tomb of Dracula #38, “Blood-Rush” continues the more light-hearted vein for the series with the change of setting from London to Boston as the comic relief characters of the Woody Allen-inspired Harold H. Harold and the ditzy bombshell Aurora Rabinowitz set out to score some blood so that Harold’s house guest, Dracula doesn’t die. The scene shifts to Dr. Sun’s Boston headquarters where he is monitoring, via closed circuit television, a meeting between Quincy Harker, Rachel Van Helsing and Frank Drake. The issue ends with Dracula, Quincy, Rachel and Frank captives of Dr. Sun and his murderous henchman, Juno with the unlikely duo of Harold and Aurora setting out to rescue the vampire who has promised Harold an interview so that he can meet his publisher’s deadline.

Issue #39, “The Death of Dracula” is highlighted by a gripping battle between Dracula and Juno. The hook-armed Chinese assassin seems to have stepped right out of Marvel’s Master of Kung-Fu series. The move to include offbeat comic relief supporting characters also seems influenced by Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy’s acclaimed series. Both titles were unique for Marvel for eschewing the superhero formula and offering surprisingly modern updates of what were considered tired and perhaps exhausted literary properties (Dracula and Fu Manchu, respectively). Dracula is killed by Juno with a spike through the heart. The villainous henchman then uses a flame thrower to cremate Dracula on the spot. Quincy, Rachel, Frank and their new acquaintances, Harold and Aurora manage to escape Dr. Sun’s headquarters and alert the military to his scheme for world domination. The issue fades out on the maniacal Dr. Sun observing their meeting with the military, improbably via his ubiquitous closed circuit cameras, as the talking brain in a fish tank gloats over his seeming omnipotence.


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