Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan ‘The Essential Tomb of Dracula Volume 1’ Review
Written by: Matt Molgaard
If you’re a fan of vintage Universal monster movies, your destiny should likely involve the handling of the classic Tomb of Dracula books. Marvel put out a few genre titles back in the ‘70s, and anyone who considers themselves a diehard has more than likely – or will more than likely open up more than a single issue of this amazing title.
I don’t really need to leap into the specifics of the story. The title should give you all the info you need. That said, if you are curious about this gem, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what to expect: a trio of vampire hunters are in pursuit of the notorious Count Dracula. Throughout this extended game of cat and mouse readers are introduced to a string of compelling characters, including Blade – who makes his first appearance in The Tomb of Dracula #10, which is featured in this massive 600-page collection. A string of strange events also await readers; Dracula dies, rises, bites and battles all comers. It’s standard horror fare with one of the most recognizable figures standing right at the heart of the mayhem.
And to be honest, despite the fact that these books can become a tad repetitious, and despite a somewhat rocky launch (the first handful of issues feel admittedly disjointed) I absolutely love them. For my money The Tomb of Dracula was one of those rare ideas that far exceeded expectations. Marvel wanted to capitalize on the increasing popularity of horror films and the growing leniency of the Comics Code Authority. They did that, and in turn gave us one wildly addictive story (respect goes out to the great Marv Wolfman, who really got the book on track), and opened countless eyes to the brilliant artwork of Gene Colan. The book also has the rare distinction of being one of a select few books pulled long before its potential was truly met (in my humble opinion).
Monster freaks have to get their hands on these books. The first is a great way to determine whether or not you’re interested in seeking out the remaining three. However, if you really, really love classic nasties, you’re probably safe in dumping a few bucks on the entire lot (well over 70 total issues). You can get the set of four for as cheap as $30 on the always handy ebay.com.
I can’t be the only one addicted to these books.