Tomb of Dracula (1972) - #16
"Return from the Grave!"
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Gene Colan - 'Adam Austin'
Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
Art 'Artie' Simek
Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
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Cover Date: January 1974
Cover Price: US $ 0.20
Issue Tagline: Back from the Grave!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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Letters Column: Tomes to the Tomb!
A clothed skeleton has broken into the home of James Jackson. When his secretary Helen Cantler catches the creature breaking into James' safe, it kills her rousing the attention of James who meets the same fate. Taking from the safe what it had come for, the grim form leaves the mansion. Not long later, the Scotland Yard, led by Inspector Chelm, investigate the scene of this grisly murder. While within Highgate Cemetery, Dracula rises once more for the evening to look for fresh victims to feed upon. Happening upon two grave robbers, Dracula is about to attack them when the coffin they are opening gives them a rude surprise: The skeletal remains within pops out and kills them before dissolving into ash before Dracula can get revenge on the undead creature for killing his intended meal. Knowing that the dead bodies would bring the Yard, Dracula uses his mental control over the custodian of the cemetery to come and bury the bodies before going out and searching for a new victim. He finds it in young Marie Komph who is out walking alone late at night. While back at Scotland Yard, Inspector Chelm, suspecting that the murders he's investigating are the work of Dracula calls Quincy Harker for advice. Harker advises Chelm that the double murder doesn't fit Dracula's motus operandai but offers to aid if Chelm needs any additional help. After Chelm gets off the phone, he gets a report of trouble on Coventry Street. There, the undead creature is attempting to attack a woman wearing a necklace, finding opposition from the pub crawlers that are about the place. Killing all those who get in it's way, the dead creature is stopped from reaching his goal when Dracula spots it and attacks the creature for it's previous interference in the vampire kings nightly feeding. The creature manages to toss Dracula aside and retrieve the necklace before disappearing in the night. Dracula revives just as the Scotland Yard are arriving and is forced to flee the scene in his bat form when the Yard begins shooting at him. Meanwhile, in Ireland, Mr. Chen reports to Dr. Sun and shows him a newly revived Lucas Brand, proving to Sun the existence of vampires. With Brand under their full control, Dr. Sun offers to gives Mr. Lo anything he desires. Lo asks that Dr. Sun arrange that Lo's father, a prisoner of the Chinese government for years, is freed from captivity. Dr. Sun grants the request, sending his own forces to break Lo's father out of his prison. While back in London, Dracula returns to Highgate Cemetery, rationalizing that the corpse could only have returned there. He unearths the grave that that the coffin was in, and the creature is once more within the coffin. It attacks him briefly before once more crumbling into dust. Dracula takes note that the tomb stone is in the name of a man named Paul Beare, a man that Dracula knows as a mystic and Satanist who once asked Dracula to help him on a quest, one which Dracula declined to partake in. Meanwhile, Inspector Chelm has been investigating the series of murders, and realized that there is a connection between the three murdered people, Paul Beare and a man named Duncan Corley, whom Chelm deduces is their mysterious skeleton. As Chelm heads out with his men, Dracula arrives at the home of Paul Beare, and finds his decaying corpse within the home with a note reading "Do not bury him again" pinned to the shirt. Knowing that burying Paul's body would bring the creature out once more, Dracula removes it from the property and takes it back to Highgate Cemetery. There, Inspector Chelm happens upon the creature, and tries to run it down but it gets back up again. Chelm attempts to kill it with silver bullets he had prepared to fight Dracula with, but the creature would knock the gun out of his hand. Dracula would then arrive with the body of Paul Baere, and resume his fight with the undead being. Dracula manages to beat the creature into submission and prepares to bury the remains of Paul Baere. Chelm stops him, and explains the situation: That the superstitious Paul Baere wanted to be buried in a place of astrological alignment, however his chosen gravesite was occupied by the grave of Duncan Corley. Paul then had his attorney James Jackson arranged to have the graves switched. This is what caused whatever forces to reanimate the corpse of Duncan. The reanimated corpse of Corley sought out Jackson's paperwork which contained ownership of the plot, and the necklace because part of it was made out of Corley's old tomb stone, and he killed all those who were involved. This the story completed, Chelm manages to convince Dracula of it's authenticity and the vampire lord flees with the corpse of Corley, to return it to it's proper resting place.
by Nick Peron
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