TOMB OF DRACULA ISSUE NUMBER SEVENTEEN

"SNOWBOUND IN HELL!"

Cover Date: April 1974

Writer: Marv Wolfman

Pencils:: Gene Colan

Inker: Tom Palmer

Colorist: Tom Palmer

Letterer: John Costanza

Editor: Roy Thomas

.

Main Characters: Dracula, , Rachel Van Helsing, Frank Drake, QuincyHarker& Blade.

Synopsis:  The issue opens with Rachel Van Helsing and Dracula trapped in a blizzard in the Transylvanian Alps.  A flashback reveals Rachel Van Helsing fleeing with a book containing a spell that can destroy all vampires.  Dracula attacks Van Helsing's helicopter and hurls its pilot to his death.  To his dismay, he learns that Van Helsing cannot fly the chopper and it crashes into the side of a mountain.  Both survive the crash but Van Helsing suffers a leg injury.  Trapped in the blizzard, the two find that they cannot survive without each other.  Dracula needs Van Helsing alive in case he cannot find a source of blood soon and the injured Van Helsing cannot survive the blizzard without Dracula.

Dracula then kills a mountain goat in order for Rachel and himself to survive, feeding on the blood and cooking the meat for Rachel.  He treats Van Helsing's wound and tells her that they need each other to survive.  

In Ireland, Dr. Sun's minions prepare one final test for their vampire subject Brand.  They instruct Brand to fly through hoops of fire lined with garlic.  If Brand wavers at all, he will be destroyed by the fire rings.  He transforms into a bat and fearlessly flies through the hoops.  Dr Sun's advisor reports to Dr. Sun that they have finally found the vampire agent they need.

Back in Transylvania, Dracula makes his way through the alps, tied to Van Helsing.  Van Helsing attempts to leap off the mountain and take Dracula with her but Dracula stops her.  Dracula then taunts Van Helsing that she cannot hope to defeat an immortal foe.  Had she succeeded, she would be dead forever while he would eventually be rescued by one of his minions.

Elsewhere, Quincy Harker is about to kill Blade who recently fell to Dracula in the Parisian catacombs. However before he can, Blade stops him, somehow having survived Dracula's attack.  Harker speculates that Blade must somehow be immune to vampire bites just as humans can develop an immunity to diseases.

In Transylvania, Dracula and Van Helsing continue their journey.  Without warning, Dracula is attacked by the mate of the mountain goat he slew earlier.  Weakened by blood loss and the elements, Dracula falls to the mountain goat only to be saved by Van Helsing who shoots the mountain goat dead.  Weakened, Dracula turns to Van Helsing for blood only to find himself under attack as Frank Drake arrives in a helicopter armed with wooden bullets.  He throws Van Helsing off the mountain, realizing that Drake will save Van Helsing.  Although he knows Rachel would want him to pursue Dracula, Drake stops to save her, allowing Dracula to escape.

NOTES:  This issue sheds some interesting light on the TOD characters.  We learn that: