Tomb of Dracula #53
Issue(s): Tomb of Dracula #53
King doesn't know what Hellstorm really is, so he's a little shocked when Daimon starts summoning hellfire and then changes into his costume.
But Hellstorm is able to separate Blade from his doppelganger.
They immediately re-kill the double...
...and then Hellstorm parts ways with Blade and Hannibal.
In addition to saving Blade, Hannibal King also has some good information for him. He knows where Deacon Frost's lair is. Blade has had an antagonistic relationship towards King since he's still a vampire, regardless of the fact that he's resisted killing. But with the events of this issue Blade is a lot more mellow towards him.
On their way to the lair, King recounts the origin of Frost. Frost is not a regular vampire that was sired by another. He was a scientist searching for immortality using vampire blood when the lover of one of his subject/victims interrupted him and he wound up getting injected with his own serum.
Frost then shows up and he's got an army of doppelgangers with him. It seems to be a side-effect of his unique form of vampirism.
The duo fight the doppelgangers...
...and eventually manages to kill Frost (and he does manage to stay dead for quite a while, by Marvel standards, and especially for a vampire).
A nice use of Hellstorm and a really fun issue that shifts focus away from the primary cast of the book for a bit. It's worth observing that back in issue #38 there was a note in the lettercol saying that this book was hurting saleswise. That note coincided with a Brother Voodoo guest appearance, and we subsequently had Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, and now the Son of Satan (who, like Brother Voodoo, never meets the main character of the book). With the possible exception of the Silver Surfer, all of these characters fit very well into the tone of the book, so they are not as obtrusive as if, say, Spider-Man were to show up (yes, Dracula did appear in Giant-Size Spider-Man #1 but there seems to be a different attitude about guest starring in someone else's book vs. having them in yours). At the same time, none of these characters have the star power of Spider-Man, but there was potentially a kind of "sum is greater than the parts" synergy in having even these minor characters show up. My point is that tighter integration into the Marvel universe seems to have been seen as a way to deal with sales problems at this time. There might have been a point earlier where horror purists might not have liked to see the guest stars, but at this point the horror fad has passed and it's the super-hero universe that has endured. Which works out well for us since it's allowed this horror book, the best of Marvel's horror output, to soldier on at a time when most of the others were gone.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's only the third night since Blade was absorbed by his doppelganger in Tomb of Dracula #48.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBlade, Blade Doppelganger, Deacon Frost, Domini, Dracula, Frank Drake, Hannibal King, Harold H. Harold, Hellstorm, Rachel Van Helsing, Safron Caulder
The pre-vampire Frost looks a lot like Baron Winters, a character Wolfman & Colan created in 1982 for DC's Night Force.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 2, 2013 5:05 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|