Thursday, October 29, 2015

Vampire Tales #11 - Legion Of Blood!

Vampire Tales #11 is dated June, 1975. Sporting another handsome though more subdued Richard Hescox cover this is the last regular issue of Vampire Tales. Preceded in its demised by Monsters Unleashed and Tales of the Zombie the end of the series well and truly marks the end of the great monster trend of the early 1970's in comics.

Following a Bullpen Bulletins page called "Fearsome Features, Far-Out Fabrications and Fictional Configurations" which announces the end of the aforementioned monster titles the editors are not savvy enough to see the handwriting on the wall for Vampire Tales itself.

Morbius stars in a sprawling tale titled "Death Kiss" written by Doug Moench and drawn by Sonny Trinidad. In this one he finds himself on the cruise liner Muritania but soon is pitted against a cult of vampires who call themselves "The Brotherhood of Judas". He is directed in his mission of sorts by a beautiful woman named Morgana St.Clair who has secrets of her own. A host of coincidences make this one work, but it does feature some typically lush and evocative art by Trinidad. For a close look at most of the story in its original art format go here.

The second and final story in the issue is "Hobo's Lullaby" by John Warner and artist Yong Montano. This is a weird little short story about a legion of bums who aspire to get power by becoming vampires. One of their number objects and his story is the focus of our attention as the hobos battle the cops. It's a strange one and I suspect Warner was trying to say something about the predatory economic nature of society, but I'm not sure. Check it out for yourself here.

And after two blood-spilling years that's a wrap for the regular Vampire Tales series.

There is one more Vampire Tales magazine to come, an annual but more on that later today.

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