Saturday, 20 August 2016
Dracula Lives #1 (Marvel UK/1974)
The launch of Dracula Lives by Marvel UK in October 1974 finally bought the horror revival to our shores as the Lord of the Undead's adventures were reprinted in glorious black & white in this weekly comic. Slightly edited by the publishers due to Marvel's titles attracting a large number of slightly younger readers to it's comics this was nevertheless a feast of horror done in the Mighty Marvel Manner as Stan Lee used to say.
In fact the first splash page contains a personal message and photo of Stan "the man" Lee himself as he introduces Dracula himself as he says;
Dracula! The very sound of his name sends shivers up your spine! The inhuman scourge of Transylvania - the vampire who stalks by night!
This comic reprinted the adventures of Dracula from the US title The Tomb of Dracula which lasted for 70 issues between 1972 and 1979.
I chose to collect the Marvel UK version because I prefer my horror in black & white. Besides Gene Colan's art looks better in this "oversized format.
The first issue takes us to the cliffhanger when the deranged Clifton finds a skeleton with a stake through it and muses "so let's see what happens when I remove this stake".
The adventure begins...
But as Stan reminds back in his intro:
But have no fear, I pray you. We know there is no living dead. We know that Dracula is but a myth. We know it well - or do we?
Dracula Lives terrorised us kids for 87 issues.
The comic launched with two other features; Werewolf by Night and The Frankenstein Monster. The big three movie monsters Marvel style all in one mag.
What's not to like!