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1974-08-01 00:04:10
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Tomb of Dracula #22
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1974/Box 8/EiC: Roy Thomas
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Hulk #180-182

Giant-Size Chillers #1
Tomb of Dracula #23-25

Issue(s): Giant-Size Chillers #1, Tomb of Dracula #23, Tomb of Dracula #24, Tomb of Dracula #25
Published Date: Jun - Oct 74
Title: "Night of the she-demon / The ghost on Haunted Hill! / Demons in the dark!" / "Shadows in the night!" / "A night for the living... a morning for the dead!" / "Night of the blood stalker!"
Credits:
Marv Wolfman - Writer
Gene Colan - Penciler
Frank Chiaramonte / Tom Palmer - Inker

Review/plot:
Giant-Size Chillers #1 introduces Lilith, Dracula's daughter. Her spirit possesses (and totally transforms) the body of any woman who truly hates and wants to kill her father.

This despite the fact that Lilith seems to have come to grips with her father's abandonment of her. Lilith doesn't really figure much into the plot here, even in the issue she is introduced in. We are given an origin. She was born of Dracula's first wife (later named Zofia). Their marriage was due to a political arrangement, and Dracula was abusive to her.

When Lilith was born, Dracula kicked Zofia and her daughter out. Zofia went to a gypsy woman named Gretchin and paid her to raise the baby. She then stabbed herself in the heart. Later, after Dracula became a vampire because of the gypsy Lianda, he tormented and killed the gypsies in retaliation, including the son of Gretchin. Continuing the cycle of vengeance, Gretchin turned Lilith into a vampire, but via a magic spell that makes her immune to the usual vampire weaknesses, and with a curse that will cause her to take over a new body if her current one is killed.

Lilith meets dad at a ball game where they exchange hostilities.

But she's more concerned with hunting down Quincy Harker, who killed her 30 years ago.

The main story has Dracula forcing a thrall of his, a Lord Henry in the British government, ensuring that his return to London will be facilitated.

The castle he is taken over, currently owned by a Shiela Whittier, it thought to be haunted. But it turns out that the haunting is really by the Lord Henry, who managed to break his thrall and tries to kill Dracula.

He fails, but the fact that he broke Dracula's charms is presented as being an extraordinary feat in its own right.

The issue ends with the implication that the house really is haunted beyond what Lord Henry was doing.

That picks up directly in Tomb of Dracula #23.

Shiela tells Dracula that the house is haunted by a Alestar Duncan, thought to be an uncle of hers. But it turns out he was really her father.

He now wants to sacrifice her to the Dark Gods. But Dracula prevents it.

The remaining stories are pretty good, delving more into the personal lives of the vampire hunter cast. We see a little of Taj's life without Rachel, in India. We learn that he's got a wife that he's been refusing to see.

And he still is not happy to see her.

We see Frank Drake finding himself without motivation now that he's under the impression that Dracula is dead.

And we get a story with Blade being a bad ass sex machine, dead vampires in the room notwithstanding.

Blade also agrees to help some friends deal with a vampire only to find out that the vampire is actually Dracula.

The final issue in this collection is a story about Hannibal King...

...a detective who turns out to be a vampire.

The reveal is a little heavy-handed, possibly deliberately nodding to the old horror comics that always had a twist ending...

...but King will become a relatively popular character.

These issues have frequent references to the Dracula Lives series, which told stories about Dracula's past. For a character who is several centuries old, it is nice to see his past being relevant.

Quality Rating: C+

Historical Significance Rating: 6 - first Lilith, first Hannibal King

Chronological Placement Considerations: Giant-Size Chillers #1 must take place during Tomb of Dracula #22; the aftermath of Lilith's attack on Quincy Harker is shown there.

References:

  • The vampire hunters believe Dracula to be dead based on the fire in Dr. Sun's lab in Tomb of Dracula #21.
  • Dracula was turned into a vampire in Dracula Lives #2.
  • Frank Drake met Rachel Van Helsing when he attempted suicide after being forced to kill his girlfriend-turned-vampire in Tomb of Dracula #2.
  • Hannibal King makes passing reference to Lilith's slaughter of an airplane's passengers in "the current issue of Vampire Tales". That would be Aug 74's Vampire Tales #6, the only issue of that series that Lilith appeared in.

Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 1

Inbound References (8): show

Characters Appearing: Blade, Dracula, Frank Drake, Hannibal King, Inspector Chelm, Jyota Nital, Lilith, Quincy Harker, Rachel Van Helsing, Safron Caulder, Saint (dog), Shiela Whittier, Taj Nital

Previous:
Tomb of Dracula #22
Up:
Main
1974/Box 8/EiC: Roy Thomas
Next:
Hulk #180-182

Comments

Lilith is actually Marvel's 2nd attempt at a Vampirella rip-off, the first being Satana.

In early 1978 it was announced that Marvel would put out an entirely new horror magazine(after all the others had been cancelled for a while) starring Lilith by Gerber/Colan. She wound up appearing in Marvel Preview instead.

FOOM#6 announced an appearance by King Kull in this title about this time.

According to FOOM#17, the Blade story was originally intended for Marvel Spotlight.


 
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