UNCANNY X-MEN NUMBER ONE HUNDRED FIFTY NINE

"NIGHT SCREAMS!"

Cover Date: July 1981

Writer: Chris Claremont

Penciler: Bill Sienkiewicz

Inker: Bob Wiacek

Letterer: Tom Orzechowski

Colorist: Glynis Wein

Editor: Louise Jones

Editor in Chief: Jim Shooter

.Main Characters: Dracula, The Uncanny X-Men

Synopsis:: While visiting Greenwich Village, the X-Men stop by the apartment of their friend Misty Knight.  Unaware that Knight is away, the X-Men stumble across Knight's roommate Harmony Jones who allows them to stay with her.  The X-Men tell Jones that one of their members Kitty Pryde is in New York to visit her parents.  Storm escorts Kitty to her parents only to disappear in a strange fog.

The next morning, Kitty phones the X-Men to check in with them.  They learn that Storm is missing.  A search of the city leads the X-Men to a city hospital where Storm is recovering from a savage attack in which her throat was slashed.  A doctor tells the X-Men that Storm is barely alive and they don't know if she will pull through.  To everyone's amazement, they discover Storm in a hospital room, ready to leave.  Against the doctor's advice, Storm leaves the hospital and returns to the apartment where she is haunted by strange dreams.

The weekend passes and Kitty Pryde returns only to discover that her friend Storm is gravely ill. She visits Ororo and notices strange signs.  Storm is aversive to sunlight, plagued by strange dreams, and even sickened by the sight of Kitty's silver star of David holy symbol.  Kitty suspects the worst but before she can learn anymore, Storm demands that she leave.  

Kitty's suspicions are proven when she sneaks back into Storm's room and sees her being attacked by a vampire!  Dracula to be exact.  She goes after Dracula wielding a cross, only to discover that the cross only repels vampires if its wielder is a Christian.  Being Jewish, the cross has no effect on Dracula.  Dracula attacks Pryde but is repulsed by the Star of David she is wearing.  Pryde turns to Storm for help but instead, her friend helps Dracula escape into the night.

Kitty Pryde summons the other X-Men who do not all believe her story of a vampire attacking Storm. Nightcrawler believes though as he has heard of vampires during his travel through Eastern Europe.  The X-Men go to Central Park where they encounter Dracula.   Despite their mutant powers, the X-Men find themselves struggling against Dracula.  Even the superhuman strength of Colossus is not enough to defeat Dracula.  

In a nearby masoleum, Kitty Pryde searches for Dracula's coffin.  She stumbles across Storm who moves to kill her.  Pryde pleads with Storm to fight Dracula's control and drops her stake, telling Storm that she will not fight her.

Elsewhere, the X-Men are losing their battle with Dracula.  Storm joins him and the vampire lord tells the X-Men that his victory is nearly complete.  To his surprise, Storm attacks him and Dracula is forced to flee.  Storm chases the vampire lord and uses her weather control to attempt to freeze the vampire lord.  Their battle takes them to a resturant seated aboard the top of a fifty story tower.  Dracula gains the upper hand against Storm and commands her to surrender herself to his vampiric kiss.  Once again, Storm resists Dracula's command and the battle continues.  Dracula then takes a woman hostage and demands that Storm give in to him. Storm tells Dracula that she will not allow an innocent to die because of her but that Dracula will never break her will. Impressed by Storm's willpower, Dracula leaves her, complimenting her on her beauty and grace. Although he is certain that he could transform her into a vampire, he knows that Storm would never be his of her own free will.  While Storm would make him an excellent partner, he could never have her unless she came to him of her own will.  Storm vows to continue hunting Dracula but he warns her that she should be grateful that he has spared her his life.

 NOTES: When it came to writing Dracula, no comic writer could match the talent of Marv Wolfman in handling the character.  No one could equal Wolfman but perennial X-Men scribe Chris Claremont came close.  Like Wolfman's version of Dracula, Claremont portrayed Dracula as nobleman and warrior, a man to be both feared and admired.  In this unlikely story, Dracula encounters the beautiful mutant woman Ororo and attempts to make her his bride.  To Dracula's amazement, Ororo's willpower is enough to resist him.

Despite the story's cliched opening where Storm is transformed into a vampire, the story does a good job of matching the X-Men against the Lord of the Vampires.  

To some, it is ludicrous that Dracula could go toe to toe against the X-Men, a powerful group of superheroes who each possess fantastic powers.  However it should be noted that during this time, Dracula's own powers were augmented by the powerful book of spells known as the Darkhold.  

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