Tomb of Dracula (1972) - #4
"Through a Mirror Darkly!"
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Gene Colan - 'Adam Austin'
Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
John Romita Sr.
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Cover Date: September 1972
Cover Price: US $ 0.20
Issue Tagline: The Bride of Dracula!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 21 pages
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Letters Column: Tomes to the Tomb!
Dracula has come to the home of Ilsa Strangeway who has purchased Castle Dracula from Frank Drake in the hopes that she can find the secret to restoring her youth. Dracula has come to take his property back by force however Ilsa manages to hold him back with a crucifix. She then asks to make him a deal. She confirms that the words in Bram Stoker's Dracula were true, that being turned into a vampire would make her immortal. Dracula confirms this, and Ilsa asks Dracula to turn her into a vampire, and in exchange she will give him a dark mirror, the only occult artifact she had purchased that was not a fraud. She suggests to Dracula that the mirror could bring him salvation. Dracula accepts the bargain, and Ilsa tosses the crucifix away, allowing Dracula to feed on her. Hearing his mistresses screams, Ilsa's butler goes to investigate the noise and comes upon Dracula with Ilsa's lifeless body. He tries to attack Dracula and is easily knocked back. The butler comes around later in a hospital where he tells his story to Frank Drake and Rachel Van Helsing, who have come to aid the Scotland Yard in the investigation. After hearing the story, the trio go to Ilsa's home and find that she had been moved out of the location and they begin to track her. While not far away in an abandoned bunker, Clifton Graves had moved Dracula and Ilsa's bodies here to sleep away the day. As night falls, Dracula rises and finds that Ilsa has been resurrected as a vampire as well. With the hunger full upon her, she attempts to feed on Clifton, however Dracula stops her as he has claim over Clifton's life. He then demands that she tell him the secret of the mirror. She explains that she purchased the mirror in an auction and that she had researched on it, learning that the mirror has the occult power to transport people through time. Not wishing to use it to escape to the 19th Century as Ilsa had reasoned would be his use for it, Dracula is however satisfied with their bargain and they go out to feast leaving Clifton Graves to return to the mansion to wait for them. Along the way he is ambushed by Frank Drake, Rachel Van Helsing and Taj who easily knock him. While Rachel has Taj deal with Clifton, she and Frank enter the bunker. There, Rachel places crucifix's in the two vampires coffins and then sends Frank and Taj to wait for Dracula at the mansion while she waits in the bunker for Ilsa's return. In the village, Ilsa goes on a hunt for humans, believing that drinking their blood will restore her youth. As Dracula makes his way back to the mansion, he spots Frank Drake and attacks him. The king of the vampires is however forced away when Taj shines a flashlight with the shape of the cross on Dracula. Hiding in the mansion, Dracula attempts to escape once more but is once more blasted by a crucifix shaped flashlight. With nowhere to flee, Dracula decides to make his retreat through the dark mirror and heads to the mansions upper level. Meanwhile, Ilsa has returned to the bunker unaware that Van Helsing is waiting for her with a bound up Clifton Graves. When she finds that her coffin has a crucifix put in it, she realizes that her hands are still aged and withered and realized that becoming a vampire had not restored her youth and that when one becomes a vampire they become immortal they do not gain their youth. When Clifton mocks Ilsa about how Dracula fooled her, she also reveals that she had tricked Dracula as well: That the mirror would only travel one back to a time where the mirror already existed, any attempt to travel to a time prior to the mirrors existence in the earthly world would send the traveller to a world of demon creatures. She furiously attempts to slay Clifton, however she stops herself realizing what she gave up for the cost of immortality. Noticing Rachel Van Helsing, Ilsa asks the vampire hunter to kill her out of mercy, and Van Helsing complies by firing her cross bow and impaling her with a wooden stake. Rachel rushes back to the mansion to rendezvous with Frank and Taj and finds Frank and learns that Taj went inside after Dracula. Rushing in after him, Rachel and Frank are horrified to arrive just in time to see a struggle between Taj and Dracula take a turn for the worse when the fight sends them through the mirror.
by Nick Peron
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