Published: 30th June 1984
Scream? More like sob uncontrollably. This would prove to be the final issue of Scream!’s legendary fifteen issue run. I, like many other fans, would spend July of 1984 trying to find issue 16, an issue that would never come.
The issue itself would provide little closure. The Dracula File, this week’s cover feature, would finish filling in some back story but we’d be left wondering what would become of Dracula and Colonel Stakis, Max would find a new victim, Terry and Kenny would continue their journey by boat and Tales From The Grave would finish two issues into its current story arc (these varied between two, three and four issues long but certainly didn’t wrap up this week).
Thankfully, The Nightcomers would perfectly resolve itself in this issue on its ninth outing and overall the story had been very effective, certainly the scariest thing in the comic, if not quite as brutal as The Dracula File.
The two standalone stories here, Library of Death and A Ghastly Tale, were both effective too.
The Dracula File – With vampire hunter Quinn trapped, Dracula does a little bit too much gloating allowing Quinn’s servant Carl to interrupt. Carl is strong and battles with Dracula, while Quinn kills the vampire’s butler.
Dracula retreats to his balcony but as Quinn approaches, the vampire calls down a lightning strike from the “Lords of the Air” (which sounds like some bullshit to me but what can you do?). This stuns Carl and gives Dracula the upper hand. He picks up Carl, lifting him overhead (as seen on this issue’s front cover) but before he can throw him to his death, Quinn interrupts and sets fire to Dracula who falls to his actual death.
However, it turns out that some time later he would be resurrected by devil worshippers but would never underestimate a vampire hunter again.
Monster – After escaping from the police, Kenny and Terry head towards a village looking to hire a boat. However, once there the villagers recognise Terry from the TV and trap him in a net. This isn’t super effective though and the men take a beating.
It takes a lot of effort for Kenny to stop Terry from killing them but he manages it and the pair run off to the water where they steal a boat and move on.
The Thirteenth Floor – After being caught scrawling graffiti on Maxwell Tower, Cheezy finds himself falling from the Empire State Building in Max’s thirteenth floor. He falls, landing on a water hydrant. He doesn’t die but is blasted by water right through a shop window.
He agrees to clean up the mess he made and Max lets him go. However, there’s soon a new asshole to deal with when a man called Wally Skegg arrives and threatens Jerry, Max’s controller, and tries to extort him into making protection payments. He soon ends up on the thirteenth floor.
Interestingly, in the whole 15 issue run, Max only really caused one death directly. That was his victim from the start of the series who died by heart attack after Max scared him to death. The Fogarty Brothers would later shoot each other on the thirteen floor but everyone else was let go.
A Ghastly Tale ‘The Man They Called Doctor Death’ – Having hired two beggars to dig up a corpse for him, Dr. Phillary is able to continue his experiments and is able to bring life back to a dead body.
Later, one of the beggars double-crosses the other and is killed by his accomplice who decides to take the whole body to Dr. Phillary but as this is happening, the experiment from earlier begins to stir.
Library of Death: Out of the Fog – Barry Hollis, a young man, is on the run from an orphanage. His father is in jail for murder and so he’s all alone in the world. A dense fog surrounds him and within is the vision of a tramp that appears to want to communicate with him.
The tramp leads Barry to the offices of Runwick Mercer Finance where he finds a dead man. With him is a suicide note that exonerates his father.
Later, in court, Barry is able to present the evidence but when trying to identify the tramp it becomes apparent that he was the man who was killed previously.
A Ghastly Tale ‘Blood Track’ – A motorcyclist, Gary Steadman, is speeding down the road when he hits and kills a man before driving off. It is revealed that the man is a hospital technician who would have lived if he’d been helped.
The next time Gary rides, he notices blood on his windshield but cannot seem to remove it. He eventually trades in the bike but the blood keeps coming, distracting him enough to make him crash.
However, when the doctors try to give him a blood transfusion they find all the supplies smashed and we find out that the previous technician who worked there was the man who was killed.
The Nightcomers – With Simon Cutler about to sacrifice her to the demon Baphomet, Beth Rogan summons the spirit of Edna, Cutler’s wife. She appears, causing Cutler to turn against Baphomet who is at that point emerging out of a painting but this doesn’t go well for him and Baphomet turns Cutler’s own hand against him, making him stab himself.
Rick frees himself and sets fire to Baphomet, removing him and the dark energy from Raven’s Meet. However, Beth explains that when Baphomet killed Cutler, this freed Edna (she was only there for revenge on her husband) and that removed the evil from the house.
Beth and Rick leave with the tag at the end of the strip promising a new adventure for next week.