Doctor Strange #60-62
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #60, Doctor Strange #61, Doctor Strange #62
The book is secured at Avengers' Mansion.
The Scarlet Witch had just left the Mansion to pick up some things while she stands vigil over the Vision's inert body, but Captain Marvel is currently on Monitor duty. The other Avengers are not in the building.
Dracula's cultists learn of the Avenger's submarine entrance from an entranced AIM agent...
...and Dracula launches an assault, sending hordes of rats and a charmed mob to barrage the front gate while he slips in through the river entrance. The Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel, and Hannibal King manage to hold off Dracula long enough for Dr. Strange to teleport the book away.
He chooses to send the book to the abandoned castled of Baron Mordo, thinking it's a place Dracula is unlikely to look.
The Avengers stay behind but Strange and Wong head to Mordo's castle (Morgana Blessing, Sara Wolfe act as decoys) where they hook up with Frank Drake and Blade.
They attempt to travel incognito but Dracula's cultists are able to track them down.
Strange is determined to recite the Montesi Formula, which if recited properly using the Darkhold will destroy all vampires on Earth. The Darkhold is actually what allowed vampires to be created in the first place - apparently ancient Atlanteans pieced together scrolls left behind by the Elder Demon Chthon to create the Darkhold, and then tried to use it to make their enemies into undead slaves, only to have the newly created vampires turn on them.
After a big battle...
...Strange is able to recite the formula.
All vampires on Earth are destroyed (including Harold H. Harold, seen below), except for Hannibal King, because he never consummated his vampirism by drinking blood.
Strange still has to perform a blood transfusion to save his life (and let's note that Strange is able to perform the surgery, possibly in contradiction with later stories that show that Strange's hands are still too shaky after the accident from his origin story). In addition to Dracula, Harold, and anonymous vampires, we see the death of Dracula's daughter Lilith as well.
Some pretty epic storytelling. The Avengers appearance was a great touch, as was Dracula's fear of Thor showing up after an encounter in Thor's solo book. Stern also has a good handle on dialogue, right down to having Hannibal King talk like someone out of a pulp novel ("We're like school boys, trying to stop an axe murderer! Well, I guess everyone has to graduate from school someday!").
Dan Green's art in issue #60 works well for the mystical and horror stuff, although some early panels depicting the Scarlet Witch vamping it up don't work very well.
But, continuing Dr. Strange's bad luck with artists, Green leaves after issue #61. #62 is a fill in with Stephen Leialoha, and it's too bad he doesn't stick around because his style meshes nicely with the book's mystic atmosphere.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Thor #333 and Avengers #234. The MCP places this after Defenders #122, but that seems arbitrary and i've moved this arc back in publication time in order to fit in with the Avengers timeline.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
Blade, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Dracula, Franklin Drake, Hannibal King, Harold H. Harold, Jarvis, Lilith, Morgana Blessing, Sara Wolfe, Scarlet Witch, Wong
"let's note that Strange is able to perform the surgery"
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