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Tomb of Dracula (1972) - #17
"Death Rides the Rails!"

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Marv Wolfman

Gene Colan - 'Adam Austin'

Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.

Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.

John Costanza

Roy Thomas

Cover Artist(s):
Gil Kane
Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
Gaspar Saladino - 'Gaspar'

Rating (out of 10):
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Cover Date: February 1974
Cover Price: US $ 0.20

Issue Tagline: A Vampire Rides This Train

Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages

Story Arc(s):    Add/remove story arcs to this issue

Letters Column: Tomes to the Tomb!

Having spent time in Paris, France, Dracula returns to the secret location of one of his coffins lined with Transylvanian earth so that he can rest for the night. However, he arrives to find that this secret location, like many of his other coffins have been destroyed. Needing to find a coffin lined with dirt from his homeland in order to rest for the night Dracula becomes furious. He is then attacked by Blade the vampire hunter, who is the one responsible for these coffin destructions. Blade attempts to once more slay Dracula. Dracula manages to overpower Blade, and feed upon the vampire hunter before leaving him for dead. Dracula would flee into the night to the location of a fifth coffin, unknown to the vampire hunters, hidden in the farm house of Henri Verne, one of Dracula's enslaved humans and his wife Gerta. The following night, Dracula begins his travels back to Transylvania, deciding this time to return home by boarding a train in Germany. After resting aboard the train, Dracula would then order the conductor to not let anyone into his quarters and would then leave to find a fresh victim to feed upon. Also aboard the train are Frank Drake and Rachel van Helsing, who have deduced that Dracula is aboard the train and are waiting for him to strike so that they might destroy him. Also aboard the train is a man name Gruber and his bodyguard Granet. Gruber has something very important inside a briefcase and has fear that their enemy is aboard the train and may claim it. However, despite this worry, Gruber sends Granet out to get him a drink. Dracula is walking through the train looking for a drink as well, he passes by the young Jack Russell, who is going to Transylvania for his own reasons, both unaware that fate will have their paths cross in the near future.
While back in Ireland, Lucas Brand is set upon some of Dr. Sun's best warriors, whom Brand is easily able to defeat. Convinced that Brand is of value to him, Dr. Sun welcomes him as part of their organization. Back aboard the Transylvania bound train, Dracula finds a young mother travelling out with her son. Seducing the mother, Dracula leads he back to his quarters alone and feeds upon her. Her screams bring the attention of Drake, van Helsing as well as Gruber and Granet. Dracula manages to flee the area in his mist form before Frank and Rachel arrive and find that the woman is not dead, nor had Dracula fed on her enough to cause her to change into a vampire. Dracula returns to his room where he curses his mistake, but he is soon interrupted by the arrival of Gruber and Granet who followed Dracula back to his room. Tricking the vampire lord into opening the door by posing as the porter, Granet attempts to kill Dracula by shooting him with a gun. Dracula laughs off this pathetic attack and easily knocks Granet aside. Thinking that Granet and Gruber are in league with Quincy Harker, Dracula kills Granet by throwing him from the train before he can explain who he really works for, while Gerber flees the scene.
Dracula follows after him, but is delayed when he runs into and has to fight past Frank Drake and Rachel van Helsing. He easily manages to get past the two vampire hunters in the tight quarters of the train. He tells them that he will meet them again at Castle Dracula, where he will see to their doom. Finding Gruber, Gruber warns Dracula to stay away as he is charged with protecting his masters important documents. Not understanding what Gruber is babbling about, he scoffs at the importance a mere mortals paperwork would have to a vampire. Upon hearing that Dracula is a vampire, Gruber fearfully smashes out a window to his own death. Before Dracula can make sense of what has happened, Rachel appears with a cross bow and attempts once more to stake Dracula. Dracula flees the scene before she can hit her target. Flying off into the Romanian sky, Dracula flees the scene. Back down the line, the body of Gerber is found by an agent of Dr. Sun who retrieves the case that Gerber protected so dearly. Reporting back to his master, this agent of Dr. Sun informs the mysterious man that he has succeeded in his mission.

by Nick Peron

Reprinted/Collected in:
Essential The Tomb of Dracula (2003) TPB vol. 01
Le tombeau de Dracula (1973) #17
Tomb of Dracula (1972) HC Omnibus vol. 01
Tomb of Dracula (1972) HC Omnibus vol. 01 (Gene Colan Variant)
Tomb of Dracula (1972) TPB vol. 02

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An image for Blade (Marvel) exists Blade (Marvel)
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An image for Doctor Sun exists Doctor Sun
An image for Dracula (Marvel) exists Dracula (Marvel)
  An image for Frank Drake (Marvel) exists Frank Drake (Marvel)
An image for Rachel Van Helsing (Marvel) exists Rachel Van Helsing (Marvel)
An image for Werewolf by Night (Marvel) exists Werewolf by Night (Marvel)

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