Dracula Lives! #6 (1974)

Dracula Lives! is one of the small genre of comics that have exclamation marks in their titles. The only other title I can think of is American Flagg, which was a classic early ’80s comic, though I suppose there are probably others. Maybe the movie adaptations of Daktari! or Viva Guevara! or something like that. But I can’t think of any others. Can anyone out there in Internet land help me?
 
The feature piece in this issue of DL! is a terrific story, "Death in the Chapel," by the stellar writer artist team of Steve Gerber and Gene Colan. Seperately, each man produced brilliant work (Among many, many other credits, Colan was the penciller of the color Tomb of Dracula, arguably the greatest horror comic of all time, for around seven years) but together they were magic. Colan noted in his recent biography Secrets in the Shadows that Gerber was his favorite collaborator, and it’s easy to see why.
 
Dracula is hunting down a nemesis of his, the monk Montesi, who has been hunting down the vampires who live in Rome. Dracula is the king of vampires, so he feels he must protect his followers. But there’s just one problem – Montesi has taken refuge in the Vatican, and Dracula of course can’t abide the sight of the holy cross.
 
What follows is a test of Dracula’s will and concentration, as he schemes and battles his way through the horrors – for him – of the holiest place on Earth. What he finds will test him like nothing he has ever encountered.
 
What follows is an operatic masterpiece of story and art. It’s comics melodrama at its best, full of passion and energy and fury.
 
This one’s reprinted in The Essential Tomb of Dracula, volume 4, and is worth the price of admission all by itself. Great stuff.
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