Marvel’s Dracula

Real Name/Alias: Vlad Tepes Dracula, Count Dracula, Alucard, Frank Drake, Count Orlok

1st Appearance: The Tomb of Dracula #1, April 1972

Place of Origin: Schassberg, Transylvania, Kingdom of Wallachia

Profession: Ruler of Earth’s Vampires

Affiliations: Vampires, Legion of the Undying, Defenders

Partnerships: Maria (wife)

Created by: Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

Abilities:

  • Skilled swordsman and hand-to-hand combatant
  • Superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina and reflexes
  • Gifted intellect
  • Regenerative healing
  • Weather control
  • Shapeshifting
  • Mind control
  • Telepathy
  • Levitation
  • Hypnotic eyes
  • Immortality

Synopsis of First Issue: “Dracula”

Frank Drake has come to Transylvania with his girlfriend, Jeanie, and her former boyfriend, Clifton Graves, to take possession of his ancestor’s former home.  There is just one catch: his ancestor was Count Dracula. The trio are driving from London to Transylvania when their car breaks down.  The trio begin pushing the vehicle, and Frank notices that Clifton has been acting strangely since they left England.

The trio arrive at a village that is very superstitious and believe all the old tales of vampires.  The trio seeks out a carriage that will take them to Castle Dracula.  They find a man named Otto, who does not believe in the village’s superstitions and promises to take the trio to their destination.  The locals again warn the visitors not to go any further, but Frank pays them no mind for he has aspirations to turn Transylvania into a tourist spot.

Once at the castle, Frank gives Otto his last ten dollars then recounts to himself how he blew his million dollar inheritance.  He also recalls the summer he met Jeanie.  Frank then recalls how he tried to get loans from his friends but none of them came through, except Clifton, who upon hearing that Frank owned Castle Dracula wanted to turn the castle into a tourist trap. Frank did some research ahead of time scouring through his family’s past, which included diaries and the writing of Van Helsing. The information he gained, convinced him to go on the expedition with Clifton.

The trio enter Castle Dracula and are met immediately by a group of bats, which gives Jeanie quite a fright.  The trio decides to split up when Jeanie mentions how Frank and Clifton have changed during their journey to Castle Dracula. Clifton explores another area, pondering how he can take advantage of the castle and wondering what he ever saw in Jeanie.  Clifton falls through some old floor boards and lands in lower level. Following the steps, Clifton finds a coffin where Dracula’s earthly remains are kept.  Clifton opens the coffin and finds Dracula’s bones with a wooden stake protruding from his chest.  Clifton then decides to execute his plan. He will kill Frank and take ownership of Castle Dracula. Clifton then walks out the room with the stake from Dracula’s remains in his hand.

By removing the stake from Dracula’s remains, Clifton has unknowingly brought Dracula back to life. Soon, the Vampire King begins reforming his flesh and blood on to his skeleton.  Dracula’s first action is to attack Clifton.  Clifton tries to kill Dracula with rounds of ammo from his fire arm but to no avail.  Clifton is then knocked out and tossed down to a pit from the King of Vampires to summon later.

Dracula transforms into a bat and flies to the upper levels of his castle.  There, he runs into Frank and Jeanie who have come across the floor Clifton fell through.  Jeanie is frightened by the bat but is even more frightened when the bat turns into Dracula.  Frank is now frightened as well, and Dracula uses his hypnotic thrall on Jeanie to bring her closer to him. Jeanie pushes Frank away but he then knocks her out.  Frank then pulls out Jeanie’s silver compact.  Silver is one of a vampire’s weaknesses, and forces Dracula to return to his bat form and searches for other victims to feed on.

Dracula finds a girl walking alone in the village and feeds on her, giving him necessary energy to return to his caste.  When the villagers find the girl, they know that Dracula has returned from the grave and organize a mob to torch the castle.

Upon returning to his castle, Dracula finds Jeanie sleeping alone in a bed.  He moves to feed on her but she is wearing a crucifix and is driven back.  This was a trap set up by Frank who reveals to the Vampire King their common ancestry.  Frank uses a mirror to get close to Dracula and then throws Jeanie’s silver compact at him striking his brow.  This enrages Dracula and he moves towards Frank, intent on ending his descendant’s life.

Jeanie wakes ups and sees that Dracula is just about ready to kill Frank while at the same time the torch wielding villagers have reached the castle’s grounds.  Jeanie then removes her crucifix and throws it out a window.  The villagers set fire to Castle Dracula and Frank awakens to see that Dracula is feeding on Jeanie.  In attempt to save Jeanie, Franks uses the silver compact on Dracula resulting in the vampire being forced to transform into a bat once more and flee his castle.  Frank takes Jeanie out the castle and informs the villagers that Dracula is gone.  Frank looks at Jeanie and is horrified to see that she is dead.

A grieving Frank is starting to weep when Jeanie suddenly rises up and explains that because Dracula did not kill her she is now a vampire.  Jeanie sees Dracula flying away and she follows after him.  Franklin is now alone to mourn her loss.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracula_(Marvel_Comics)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tomb_of_Dracula

https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Tomb_of_Dracula_Vol_1_1

https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Vlad_Dracula_(Earth-616)

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