|Known aliases||Cliff; Clifford|
|Base of Operations||Formerly Boston, Massachusetts; later, Transylvania; later, London, England|
|Year of birth||Unknown|
|Year of death||Unknown|
|First Appearance||Tomb of Dracula (Volume1) #1|
Clifton Graves was a minor character featured in the Tomb of Dracula comic franchise published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Gene Colan and was introduced in Tomb of Dracula, Volume 1 #1.
Clifton Graves was once a friend of vampire hunter Frank Drake, though their relationship was anything but close. When Frank came into possession of a million dollar inheritance, Clifton felt that he had found himself a goldmine. Clifton and Frank's friendship was strained however when they both vied for the affections of the same woman, a girl named Jeanie. Ultimately, Frank won Jeanie's heart, and Graves began to develop a deep resentment towards his friend.
When the money from Frank's inheritance ran out, he grew desperate. Clifton learned that the only remaining asset from the inheritance was a crumbling old family castle in the mountains of Transylvania. When Graves discovered that the castle once belonged to the infamous Count Dracula, he encouraged Frank to open it to the public as a tourist attraction.
Clifton, Frank and Jeanie traveled to Transylvania to inspect the estate. By this point, he had intended on killing Drake in order to take control of the castle. While wandering the dank catacombs, Clifton fell through a weak floorboard and plunged down into a secret chamber – a room that contained the skeletal remains of the vampire, Dracula. Graves never gave much credence to the old legends, so he pulled the wooden stake from the corpse's chest, little realizing that in so doing, he enabled the Lord of Vampires to return to life.
Dracula rose from his tomb, and raked Graves across the face with his clawed hand. He then hurled him into the vast Pit of Death, a cavern filled with skeletons of past victims. Miraculously, Graves survived the fall. Frank eventually found Cliff and pulled him free of the pit. He offered up a feeble excuse for himself, never revealing the part he played in Dracula’s resurrection.
Unfortunately, Jeanie did not have the same luck as Clifton Graves. Dracula encountered her and turned her into a vampire.
Having narrowly escaped Dracula's clutches, Cliff and Frank returned to London. Dracula and Jeanie tracked them down, and Jeanie used her vampiric powers of hypnosis to make Cliff her unwitting slave. She enforced her influence over Cliff by telling him that he was the only one that she truly loved. She convinced Cliff to drug Frank's coffee cup, rendering him insensate. Dracula arrived to finish Frank Drake off, but he managed to shake off the drug’s effects long enough to repel Dracula with a crucifix.
During the melee, Jeanie attacked Clifton and was prepared to kill him, but Frank saved his friend's life, even at the cost of his true love. Picking up a broken piece of wood, he drove the sharpened end into Jeanie’s back, piercing her heart. Just as sunlight began pouring through the window of Frank’s apartment, Jeanie’s body turned to ash.
The friendship between Cliff and Frank was beyond repair however. Dracula knew that Graves was a being that he could easily control, and he used his vampiric influence to make Cliff his personal valet.
Cliff was present on board the luxury liner Michele when Dracula faced off against the vampire hunter known as Blade. Dracula ordered Cliff to set off a series of bombs across the ship designed to kill Blade, but Cliff was caught in the explosion and appeared to have died.
He resurfaced a short time later as an agent for the criminal mastermind, Doctor Sun. Sun’s surgeons healed many of Cliff's injuries, and he used him as a pawn against his former master, Dracula.
Drake eventually tracked Dracula down once again, this time assisted by fellow vampire hunters, Rachel van Helsing and Taj Nital. Rachel fired a crossbow bolt at Dracula, but the vampire lord grabbed Graves and used him as a human shield. The bolt hit Graves in the chest, killing him instantly.
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This article relates to characters featured in the Tomb of Dracula comic book franchise.