Dracula Lives #6
Issue(s): Dracula Lives #6
Montesi doesn't actually have the Darkhold; he only has a copy of this specific incantation.
Montesi lives at the Vatican, and it's initially presented like that makes him untouchable because the place is so full of "goodness and light".
But that goes out the window almost immediately. Dracula is able to ambush two priests with giant cross necklaces...
...and basically run around the Vatican as long as he doesn't actually look up at any of the religious icons.
He attacks Montesi, destroys his formula, and then chases him through the Vatican in case Montesi had it committed to memory.
And while Dracula repeatedly berates himself for entering the Vatican...
...he basically makes it through just fine, and manages to kill Montesi.
However, as he's dying he tells Dracula that he actually mailed another copy to Quincy Harker. Surprisingly, this doesn't result in Dracula going after Harker (perhaps because Dracula is still pretending to be dead at this point). Someone will actually wind up going after Quincy for the Formula, in Giant-Size Dracula #3. And then Lilith will go for the formula again in Uncanny X-Men annual #6 (both stories are by Chris Claremont, although they are years apart).
Dracula's weaknesses are always a bit inconsistent. Sometimes a little silver mirror will keep him at bay indefinitely, other times he easily knocks away crucifixes from his enemies. But if you accept the idea (as Dracula does) that the Vatican is a holy place, you'd think he really wouldn't be able to set foot within it. I suppose an argument could be made that it's psychological, since the crosses and such only affect Dracula when he looks at them.
This is the last issue of Dracula Lives with any significance for Dracula as a character. We devolve into more generic horror stories after this.
Another story in this issue continues the rivalry between Dracula and the wizard Cagliostro, this time with the backdrop of the French Revolution. I should also note that beginning last issue, Dracula Lives began an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula that won't be finished by the time this series is cancelled. After one installment in the one shot Legion of Monsters magazine, it will eventually get finished in a 2005 miniseries.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: As with issues #4-5, i have this issue after Tomb of Dracula #21 where Dracula is thought to have been killed. Since Dracula references fighting the Werewolf and Topaz, which happened in Tomb of Dracula #18 and which leads directly to #21, that has to be the case.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 4
As we'll see in Doctor Strange 12-13, Montesi belongs to a family that's been studying the Darkhold for centuries.
Posted by: Michael | February 8, 2015 6:50 PM
Interestingly, 1983's Doctor Strange #61 reveals that Doc was fully aware of the Montesi Formula, yet Hannibal King and Blade were not.
There is no direct contradiction there, but if Quincy Harker really had the incantation, one would expect him to spread it to pretty much anyone he knew he could trust to fight vampires - Rachel, Frank Drake, Inspector Chelm, Taj, perhaps even Brother Voodoo and Daimon Helstrom.
That list would most likely include Hannibal King and would most definitely include Blade; their disagreements never ran anywhere deep enough to cause a moment's hesitation in that regard.
Maybe Montesi was simply attempting to make Dracula uncertain, or maybe he was drawing his attention away from whoever he may have sent the incantation to.
Harker, after all, will be on Dracula's crosshairs anyway, and is one of the very few people that may actually be safer if Dracula thinks he may have the Montesi formula.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | February 8, 2015 7:48 PM
In Uncanny X-Men Annual 6, there's a copy of the Montesi Formula hidden away by Rachel Van Helsing but the spell can't be used without the user losing their soul. The most likely explanation is that that's the version Montesi sent Harker (he probably figured out a way around the "losing your soul" problem before using it on the vampire but after sending it to Harker) and Harker didn't tell King and Blade because he didn't want them to lose their souls trying to kill Dracula.
Posted by: Michael | February 8, 2015 8:08 PM
Judging by the Mike's Amazing World site, the Stoker adaptation seems to have been abandoned (or at least not published) after #8, or only four installments.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 8, 2015 2:20 AM
The 2004-2005 series is the complete story. There are four issues, but they are 40 pages each. The first two contain everything that was originally published in Dracula Lives and Legion of Monsters, and then beginning at the end of #2 and through #3 and #4 is are the previously unpublished additional segments. UHBMCC shows it well.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 8, 2015 9:55 AM
I was just saying, you seemed to imply the Stoker adaptation was only cut short by the book's cancellation, when it had already been abandoned by that point. (What did you think I was referring to with "#8" that would still allow "four installments" to refer to the miniseries?)
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 8, 2015 10:58 AM
I guess the "four installments" line did throw me because Stoker segments also appeared in Dracula Lives #10 & #11 and in Legion of Monsters #1 after DL folded, as the UHBMCC link shows. So it doesn't seem to have been abandoned. The fact that it didn't appear in DL #12-13 i would attribute to normal 1970s Marvel scheduling issues, since they had something for LoM. But in any event this is all extremely tangential to my project.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 8, 2015 3:41 PM
Well, like I said I was going off the Mike's Amazing World site, which didn't have any stories from those two issues listed as being reprinted in later books collecting the Stoker segments, although those two Dracula Lives issues do have one story each not collected in Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 4 like all the other non-Stoker Dracula stories. DC definitely seems to be Mike's first love with his Marvel coverage having a few holes (which raises the question why either of us lean on his site so much...).
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 8, 2015 5:27 PM
thats a darn good st Peters square.
Posted by: kveto | October 3, 2016 4:25 PM
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