Marvel Comics Presents #77-79 (Dracula/Nick Fury)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #77, Marvel Comics Presents #78, Marvel Comics Presents #79 (Dracula/Nick Fury story only)
Dracula wakes up to find that his "gypsy" servants have been attacked by Nazis, some killed and some taken to camps.
Apparently the wall around the camp is enough for it to qualify as a building that Dracula needs to be invited into, and the swastika counts as a holy symbol that can repel him.
So he needs help. Fortunately, the Commandos have been sent to "Rumania" (the spelling at the time) to mark an oil field to be targeted by bombers.
So Dracula shows up to help them after they blunder into a fake town that has been set up as a trap.
After the fight, Dracula shows them where the real town that they were looking for is. He also asks for their help before they finish their mission.
The Howlers are aware of Dracula in the abstract - Dino was going to play "the romantic lead" (Jonathan Harker, i guess) in the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula until he got drafted (see the comments about this), and Pinky's father knew Bram Stoker - and despite him using his Count Tsepes alias, they figure out pretty quickly who he really is (although Nick Fury takes a little extra convincing).
It's still not hard to convince them to help.
So the Howlers get themselves and Dracula invited into the camp...
...and then rain down death on the Nazis.
They liberate the camp and signal the bombers to take care of the oil field, and then say goodbye to Dracula. Pinky does say that he's going to tell Van Helsing about him.
In my opinion, too much set up and not enough teaming up with vampires to fight Nazis. But in concept alone, it's fun. I guess teaming up with Dracula ought to have felt like more of a dilemma, but even though Dracula is one of Marvel's purest evil villains, he's no comparison to the real world threat of the Nazis. It's comic book Nazis, of course, but this story does remind us of their concentration camps, even if what we see here is mild by real world standards.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Obviously this is a World War II era story. It takes place in 1942 and therefore prior to our other Dracula vs. Nazis story in Dracula Lives #2, which occurs in 1944. This would have to take place after the introduction of Eric Koening in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #27.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showDino Manelli, Dracula, Dum Dum Dugan, Eric Koenig, Gabriel Jones, Izzy Cohen, Nick Fury, Percy Pinkerton, Reb Ralston, Sam 'Happy Sam' Sawyer
This story is completely inconsistent with both real world history and Marvel continuity.
Posted by: Michael | November 30, 2015 8:52 PM
This is one of the stories that I remember well from MCP. This is what the various stories should have been; crazy team-ups and fun concepts rather than solo character filler material.
Posted by: Bill | November 30, 2015 9:20 PM
You have this categorized under both "1991" and "Golden Age/WWII", and don't have it in any boxes.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | December 1, 2015 2:22 AM
@Fnord- Sounds like someone at Marvel needs a history lesson. "Dracula" with Bela Lugosi was filmed in 1930 and released in early 1931, so Dino would have had to have joined the Army some 10-11 years before America's entry into WW2, and I have seen no evidence of a peacetime draft in the interim between the two world wars, and I'm not sure if Manelli's character would have been old enough to join in the early '30's. In addition, while Dracula is obviously Lugosi's best-known role, he actually essayed the role only twice, on either side of WW2: The 1931 original, and 1948's "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein". Finally, you were correct in identifying Jonathan Harker as the romantic lead (played in the original by David Manners), but the spelling of "Dracula"'s author's name is Bram Stoker.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 12, 2017 9:46 PM
Please indulge me this correction: Prior to the 1931 film, Bela Lugosi did play Dracula on the Broadway stage, and I believe he did other stage productions of the story later in his career. What I should have said is that Lugosi only essayed the role twice ON FILM.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 12, 2017 10:12 PM
Dino's exact phrasing is "I was going to play the romantic lead in a film about Count Dracula - you know, Bela Lugosi? But then the war started... and here I am!". So maybe he's just using Lugosi as a reference point?
Posted by: fnord12 | October 12, 2017 11:20 PM
@fnord- Yeah, that sounds likely, since he's so identified with the role.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 12, 2017 11:29 PM
Lugosi played the role one other time on film: in the short HOLLYWOOD ON PARADE NO. A-8 (1933), where he attacks Betty Boop. The sequence can be found on YouTube.
Lugosi played versions of his Dracula with other names in MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935) and THE RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE (1943).
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 13, 2017 2:56 AM
Lugosi, down on his luck and at the end of his life, also played a Dracula-like vampire part in Ed Wood's independent film, Plan 9 From Outer Space. Wiki offers us a relatively unopinionated and detailed exposition on what I, being somewhat more unashamedly opinionated in my delivery, would call Lugosi's final film exploitation, in their Plan 9 article, here.
Posted by: Holt | October 13, 2017 3:48 AM
Very interesting stuff, of course the Marvel Universe timeline is obviously a bit different than the "real" world's timeline, as there were some other chronological errors once or twice in the original SGT. FURY comic- I recall the name-dropping of a popular *60s'* actor in a 1940s setting- this stuff happens often. There's a Pantheneon back-up in The Incredible Hulk around this time where one of the members is upset that James Dean was just killed that night- when James Dean died, his biggest film "Rebel Without A Cause" wasn't even released yet and he was barely known. I tend to shrug this kind of stuff off as it's obvious some writers just have a generalized knowledge of certain aspects of film and pop culture when referencing them in stories.
Posted by: Wis | October 13, 2017 1:26 PM
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