Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tomb of Dracula
Tomb of Dracula was a horror comic book published by Marvel Comics in the 1970s. Tomb of Dracula featured a group of vampire hunters who fought Dracula and various other supernatural menaces. Occasionally, Dracula would work with these vampire hunters against a common threat or even battle other supernatural threats on his own, but more often than not, he was the antagonist rather than protagonist. In addition to his supernatural battles in the Tomb of Dracula series, Marvel's Dracula often served as a supervillain to various characters in the Marvel Universe, battling the likes of Spider-Man, Werewolf by Night and even the licensed character Solomon Kane.
The original Tomb of Dracula series ran for 70 issues, and was replaced by a black-and-white magazine that lasted for only six issues. Another series, Dracula Lives!, lasted a year. Although Dracula (and all other vampires in the Marvel Universe) were apparently destroyed by the mystical "Montesi Formula" in the pages of Doctor Strange, the vampire lord was revived. Marvel published a four-issue Tomb of Dracula miniseries under their Epic Comics imprint in the 1980s, and revived Dracula and his foes in the short-lived Nightstalkers and Blade series in the 1990s. Most recently, Dracula took the title role in the miniseries Dracula: Lord of the Undead.
Marvel published a black-and-white Tomb of Dracula collection, Essential Tomb of Dracula, that has run to 3 volumes so far. A fourth volume is projected for 2005 and will reprint issues of the magazine "Dracula Lives".
Major characters in the Tomb of Dracula mythos:
- Dracula himself
- Dr. Quincy Harker, descendant of Jonathan and Mina Harker, and leader of the vampire hunters; he died in battle with Dracula
- Rachel van Helsing, descendant of Abraham van Helsing, and leader of the vampire hunters upon Harker's death; she was turned into a vampire by Dracula and subsequently given a mercy killing by Wolverine of the X-Men
- Blade, son of a woman bitten by a vampire during pregnancy and a valued, yet reluctant ally to Quincy Harker's band of vampire hunters.
- Frank Drake, descendant of Dracula and charter member of Quincy Harker's vampire hunters. Note: Drake's bloodline is based on one of Dracula's marriages prior to his vampirism.
- Hannibal King, a vampire hunter and PI who is himself a reluctant vampire, frequent partner of Blade & Drake. He subsisted solely on blood he acquired from blood banks or corpses he found. Thus, he has never taken blood directly from a human being. Thus he was able to survive the Montesi formula and be restored to normal human status.
- Taj Nital, a Hindu vampire hunter whose son was vampirized, and who was later transformed into a vampire and destroyed
- Lilith , the Daughter of Dracula, an immortal vampire who was cursed to never die until her father was permanently destroyed; when slain, she was reborn into the body of a woman who was full of hate
- Deacon Frost , the vampire responsible for the death of Blade's mother and Hannibal King's vampirism. He was an upstart contender for the title of Lord of The Vampires, a title held by Dracula at the time.
- Varnae, the first vampire (and, at one point, enemy of Conan the Barbarian). He was the Lord of the Vampires prior to Dracula, and although he died in the process of making Dracula his heir, he was later revived.
- Harold H. Harold, a hack writer who befriended the vampire hunters in an effort to get material for a book he was writing. He fell victim to Dracula during the vampire's resurrection and became a vampire. But this didn't stop him from becoming a successful Hollywood film producer. However, like all vampires, he perished as a result of the casting of the Montesi Formula.
- Anton Lupeski, Satanist priest through whom Dracula manipulated a cult while impersonating Satan.
- Domini, Member of Anton Lupeski's cult whom Dracula chose as his bride.
- Janus, the Son of Dracula, who was possessed by an angel
In 1980, an animated TV movie was made based on Tomb of Dracula. Much of the main plot was condensed and many characters and subplots were truncated or omitted. It was animated in Japan and sparsely released on cable TV in North America by Harmony Gold U.S.A under the title Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned.
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