The woman now known as the Baroness was the daughter of Dr. Jacob Cromwell, a servant of Dracula's. Cromwell revived the Nazi vampire Baron Blood on Dracula's behalf, but Blood then turned on Cromwell and his family. He killed Dr. Cromwell and one of his daughters, but transformed the other daughter into a vampire to serve him.
The Baroness led a cult of vampires in a quest for the Holy Grail. As the prophecies surrounding the Grail involved the bloodline of Baron Blood, the Baroness began to meet with Kenneth Crichton, Blood's great-nephew.
The Baroness met with Kenneth again in broad daylight (using an umbrella to shield herself). Meeting with her loyal Wampyr, the Baroness learned that the date on which to perform the ceremonies with the Holy Grail which would render vampires immune to sunlight was Christmas. Kenneth finally succumbed to her, wanting to become strong and overcome his anemia. She transformed him into a vampire, making him the new Baron Blood. She sent him out to help retrieve the Holy Grail from the Natural History Museum.
The Baroness slept with Kenneth, and sent her vampires to destroy Falsworth Manor. She finally gathered the cult at Glastonbury Abbey, and drank from the Holy Grail, becoming immune to all vampiric weaknesses. She then destroyed the Grail rather than share it. As the sun rose, all of her vampires-- including Baron Blood-- were slain, and she promised Union Jack that he was now as cursed as the Falsworths for having donned the mantle of Union Jack.
Eight months later, the Baroness was hiding out in the Mojave Desert, preparing to give birth to her son, conceived with Kenneth Crichton
The Baroness gave birth to her son, naming him John Crichton after the original Baron Blood.
Now garbed as Baroness Blood, the Baroness joined the Axis Mundi (including Master Man, Warrior Woman and the U-Man) in their assault upon the Infiltrator, the powerful battleship base of the Invaders which the Mundi sought to bring under their control.
Baroness Blood confronted Spitfire and attempted to take some of her blood, indicating that it was needed for her son. When the Thin Man regained control of the Infiltrator, all of the Axis Mundi were driven off.
Based in the caverns beneath Falsworth Manor, Baroness Blood met with her followers, and sent them out to attack Dymhurst Common, knowing it would get the Invaders' attention. When Spitfire came with the Invaders, the Baroness appeared to her as Kenneth, using hypnosis, and lured her into the caverns.
As the Baroness began to feed on Spitfire, she revealed that John Crichton had inherited Kenneth's anemia, and needed the blood of his mother and grandmother to live. She had John begin to feed on Spitfire, but Spitfire managed to break free, and the other Invaders came to her rescue. Jim Hammond used his control over his blood to set aflame all of the vampires present who had fed off of Spitfire, but the Baroness and John had already escaped.
Legion of the Unliving
The Baroness was enlisted by Shadow Colonel to a team that would purify the vampire race of all the weaklings, including Dracula. However, it was all a ploy thought up by Dracula to convince Europe to exile him to Chernobyl. There, vampires can survive the remaining radiation and rebuild their nation. The Baroness and the rest of the Legion would work as Dracula's enforcers, but the Baroness was also working with Mephisto, gently pushing him into a united front with other enemies of the Avengers.
Baroness Blood was created by Ben Raab and John Cassaday, first appearing in Union Jack #1 (1998)
Powers & Abilities
Baroness Blood possesses the natural abilities of a vampire (although to a greater degree than most), including enhanced strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, healing, fangs and claws, hypnotism, the ability to replenish her strength by sucking blood from others and transform others into vampires.
Cromwell is able to mentally command those she has bitten, or vampires that she herself has created, through a type of mystical empathic/telepathic link across great distances. Much like her hypnotic powers however, a particularly strong willed individual or vampire can overcome her control.
Cromwell, akin to other powerful vampires, is able to generate tremendously powerful storms over a limited area for a period of several hours. However, she is physically and mentally drained for a period of time afterward. She is also able to summon and control lightning.
After drinking from the Holy Grail itself, Cromwell is now immune to the degenerative effects that exposure to sunlight has on all other vampires. A vampire's body soon begins to incinerate after only a few moments of exposure to sunlight. She can also move about during the daylight hours, whereas other vampires enter a death-like state. If she shares her blood with other vampires, she can also render them immune to sunlight and allow them to go without blood for longer periods of time than other vampires.