Tomb of Dracula (1972) - #43
"Paul Butterworth -- The Night-Staker!"
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Gene Colan - 'Adam Austin'
Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
Bernard Albert 'Bernie' Wrightson
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Cover Date: April 1976
Cover Price: US $ 0.25
Issue Tagline: A New Year's Nightmare!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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Letters Column: Tomes to the Tomb!
Paul Butterworth, reporter for the Boston Bugle has run afoul of Dracula and his quickly trying to type up his story before Dracula can find him: His story begins on the night of New Years Eve as Mary-Ann Travers is heading home from a party, she is attacked and killed by Dracula. When the the police would arrive on the scene Paul would arrive as well trying to get a scoop on this girl who was bled dry, and his presence is less than welcomed by the police. Later, in the early hours of the new year, Margaret Simmons pays her respects to her deceased husband when she witnesses Dracula rising from the grave, and she is also fed upon by Dracula. When these reports go out, Paul begins to wonder if vampires are involved when he hears a radio advertisement for Harold H. Harold's book "True Vampire Stores", which was an eye witness account of Harold's encounter with Dracula. Visiting Harold's home and asks Harold for an interview: Harold tells Paul of his encounter with Dracula and how after their battle with Doctor Sun, Blade had demanded that Dracula help him find the vampire who killed his mother or fight to the death. Dracula refused to be ordered around, leading to a battle between the two. Harold tells Paul that he saved Blade's life and sent Dracula running -- a part of the tale fabricated by Harold that Paul sees right through. Paul asks for Blade's address and Harold provides it for him. Along the way to Blade's home, Paul hears a police call about Dracula attacking some police officers. Rushing the scene, Paul arrives in time to see Dracula in action and attempts to take Dracula's photograph. This angers the vampire lord who attempts to attack Paul, however Paul slips on the ice and snow, jarring his crucifix loose prompting Dracula to flee. Paul continues his trek to the address that Harold gave him and finds himself in the company of Blade, Rachel van Helsing, Frank Drake and Quincy Harker. Blade gives Paul a more accurate depiction of their last encounter with Dracula, one where Blade's struggle with Dracula ended in Rachel firing an arrow at Dracula forcing him to flee. As Paul listens to the story, Dracula has appeared in the lobby of the hotel and has demanded that the desk clerk provide him with the room which Harker is staying in. Upstairs, Paul finishes his interview with the vampire hunters who request that if he is going to publish his story that they keep their names anonymous. As Paul is leaving the hotel room, Dracula suddenly bursts in. Catching the vampire hunters off guard, Dracula easily fights off Blade and is about to feed on Rachel when Paul suddenly pulls out a crucifix and trains it on Dracula. Furious that this man has once more stood in his way, Dracula uses his hypnotic powers to force Butterworth to drop his cross.
Paul finishes his recounting of the events by explaining how Frank saved his life but was tossed aside, and Dracula fleeing the scene once more vowing to get revenge against him in the near future. Just as he finishes his story, Dracula bursts in however Paul has had time to prepare for Dracula's coming with a gun armed with silver bullets and a crucifix sharpened at the point. Dracula attacks Paul, who uses up all his bullets, and gets his cross smashed by Dracula. Their fight wrecks the entire newsroom, and eventually Dracula gains the upper hand. However before the vampire lord can feed upon Paul, he pulls the curtains open to show the coming dawn. Realizing that it's almost daybreak, Dracula flees before the sun can destroy him. Later when Paul's boss enters the office he demands to know what's happened, Paul rushes to the dark room and gets the photos of Dracula he was getting developed and is soon realizes that vampires can't be photographed. Without an credible evidence proving his story, he's demoted to answering the "Ask Miss Annie" section of the paper.
by Nick Peron
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