Monday, October 5, 2015

A Night For Revenge!

We may never know who coined the phrase, "Payback's a bitch"--but few are more proficient in its application than Count Dracula, who once found himself weakened from a blood transfusion procedure and fell victim to, of all things, a mugging. Of course, his pride demanded that Dracula spin the humiliating event so that it would have a somewhat more dignified outcome.

It turns out, however, that our biker gang is involved in more than just raising hell and preying on the weak--though the gang's ringleader, Lucas Brand, has found a more sophisticated means of doing the latter.

Dracula might find this scene amusing--for as long as these men had to live, that is.

Faust has involved Brand and his hoodlums in a bizarre plot of revenge involving the practice of voodoo. Brand first confronts Faust's target with a voodoo doll made in their image and tortures them with it by piercing it intermittently with a needle and causing them debilitating pain; then, at a remote signal from Brand, Faust (with his own doll of the victim) delivers the coup de grĂ¢ce with a final jab of his own, leaving the victim alive but in severe pain for the rest of their life. Faust is targeting those whose actions indirectly led to his being encased in an iron lung; and so, in his own version of poetic justice, his retribution leaves them in a state somewhat like his own.

As for Brand, he makes for the perfect "hitman"--as long as the money's right.

Two issues of Tomb of Dracula later, Dracula has recovered his strength--and, not surprisingly, he's pencilled Brand and his group into his virtual day-planner in order to exact his own "brand" of revenge. He begins by picking up the trail of Brand's group, and confronting one of them at a local nightclub.

Dracula is too late to intercept Brand and his group before they've dealt with Faust's second victim--this time, terminally--and examining the corpse, Dracula senses that this group's method of killing goes beyond the conventional. But from the air, he's able to track the 'cyclists to the home of their final target, one whom Dracula happens to be well familiar with.

Faust has prepared Brand with no voodoo doll of Dracula, of course, and so Brand and his group fall before Dracula's power like wheat before the scythe. But Dracula's sense of revenge often doesn't limit itself to mere thrashing--and so he sends Brand's friends back to the scene of their last killing, where more than one death would now take place.

As for Brand, Dracula's plan for him has a special tinge of horror--not only sealing his revenge with Brand's living death, but also using Brand to bring the same fate to his employer, whose current state of suffering is about to become even more unbearable.

At this point in time, writer Marv Wolfman hasn't yet locked in a mortal's rise as one of the undead to three days following their death from a vampire; in these earlier stories, at times it's only taken a matter of hours or even minutes. In this case, Brand apparently is strong enough to wander off, but weak enough to die from blood loss and return as a vampire the next night--while Faust's conversion takes even less time. Wolfman would go on to revise Brand's circumstances further; but for what it's worth, Brand would have known where to find Faust no matter how many days passed, eh?

Brand's revenge on Dracula's revenge on Brand! OR: "Fangs A Lot!"


Anonymous said...

looking forward to that next post, and Lucas Brand's next employer, (whom I won't mention, no spoilers from me) turns out to be even weirder and more diabolical than this Faust guy.
And a lot more dangerous.
Suffice to say, Brand didn't have a lot on the ball himself, he and his gang were out rolling drunks for loose change and picked the wrong guy to hassle. Brand wasn't the sharpest of guys, and he picked some bad bosses!
Wolfman is about to turn the weirdness dial all the way up to eleven.
...this doesn't have anything to do with Halloween coming up, does it, C.F.?

Comicsfan said...

Brand may not have been the sharpest tool in the shed, M.P.--but by the end of this story, I think he got the point!


dbutler16 said...

I have finally gotten around to reading Tomb of Dracula and read this recently I didn't care for Dracula letting Carter go (smacks too much of your typical foolishly arrogant supervillain) but I loved the ending. Revenge is dish best served cold, indeed!

Comicsfan said...

If you mean Harker, dbutler, keep reading. Dracula wasn't kidding when he said they'd meet again soon--a meeting that Harker would come to regret.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...