Characters Appearing: Adri Nital, David Eshcol, Dracula, Jyota Nital, Shiela Whittier, Taj Nital
Tomb of Dracula #29
Issue(s): Tomb of Dracula #29
Anyway, this story begins with Dracula in a murderous rage over Shiela, first killing someone whose only crime was being a negligent babysitter...
...and then generally going on a rampage.
Finding no satisfaction in that, he resolves to address the Shiela problem directly, despite his feelings for her.
In the meantime, David decides that he's going to be preemptive about it, so he goes to try to kill Dracula in his coffin during the day. But somehow (and isn't it always this way?) David doesn't make it to the coffin until dusk.
Dracula then visits Shiela.
Dracula continues to be surprisingly... emotional (again, in his own insane way) and Shiela manages to kill herself to prevent him from turning her into a vampire or otherwise bringing him back with her.
Dracula's interest/love for Shiela was never really shown prior to this, so it's a bit hard to accept that he had true feelings for her. But it's an interesting tragic issue.
We also get some background on Taj and his family this issue. It seems that they were once attacked by a horde of vampires led by Dracula himself.
Rachel van Helsing showed up to drive Dracula off...
...but not before Taj's wife was paralyzed, Taj's vocal chords were injured (contradicting the statement by Rachel Van Helsing in Tomb of Dracula #3 that he's been mute since childhood), and their son Adri was turned into a vampire.
The incident resulted in a falling out between Taj and his wife Jyota (who is unnamed throughout these issues; her name is finally given in a 2011 handbook), and he left with Rachel. The child, as we saw in the previous arc, has been kept bound and the villagers have been supporting him by donating bottles of blood, but a recent vampire attack has caused the villagers to suspect young Adri, and that's why Taj has been called back.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: I've pushed this back in publication time just a bit to keep it closer to the end of issue #28. Dracula begins this issue in a rage over Shiela Whittier leaving him. It's possible he was in a rage or brooding for a long period before the beginning of this issue, but i think it works better if it's not too far from the end of last issue. And i definitely prefer to not have other Dracula appearances between last issue and this one. Next issue opens with Dracula at Shiela's grave, so we should allow some time for a burial. It's also worth noting that Taj's wife Jyota says that the villagers are going to do something about their son Adri "tomorrow" unless Taj does something first. But next issue doesn't follow up on the Taj plot, so i am going to assume that the villagers' actions are delayed.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 2
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