AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula (1972)
Continuing our look at comic books this week featuring the character of Dracula. Today we look at the classic Marvel comic, Tomb of Dracula. The first seven issues of the series had trouble keeping a writer. Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin and Gardner Fox all took turns. The book finally took off when Marv Wolfman became the permanent writer with issue 7. The entire run was drawn by Gene Colan. Colan didn’t model his Dracula on Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee. He would use Jack Palance as his model. Tomb of Dracula became a very popular part of Marvel’s horror comics in the 70s – 80s.
In Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973), the character of Blade the Vampire Hunter would be introduced. At the time, Blade was just a guy who happened to be immune to vampire bites. He was more Shaft than super-vampire. In 1998 Wesley Snipes would re-envision the character of Blade for the big screen.
Wesley’s version of Blade was more an interpretation of another character that first appeared in Tomb of Dracula #25, Hannibal King. Hannibal King was a private detective that was also a demi-vampire who had all the vampire strengths (super strong, super senses, agility, martial arts) and only one weakness, the thirst for blood.
Marvel’s Dracula would become extremely popular. His popular would lead to other horror icons to get their own books such as Werewolf by Night who would appear in a cross over battle with Dracula in Tomb of Dracula #18. Dracula became popular enlough to start showing up as a villain in regular Marvel books. Dracula would fight the X-Men in the 90s as well as the Silver Surfer in Tomb of Dracula #50.
Tomb of Dracula would last until issue #70 in 1979. However, Dracula as a character would keep popping up as a villain in the mainstream Marvel universe for years. He even has a major part in the current ongoing Fear Itself storyline.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.