First Origin: Chaos! Comics (1996)
Chastity Marks began life as a typical young American girl living in Toledo, Ohio, with her story of adventure starting in the mid-1970's. Her father Lorenzo was a vain and ill-tempered man who owned a hair salon; he despised his daughter and often abused and molested her, considering her worthless and bringing shame upon the family. Chastity dreamed of being accepted into a prestigious drama school and having a career as an actress. She decided to flee her miserable home life and traveled to London to audition for the Royal Shakespeare Academy, but was rejected. Devastated and wandering the London streets, she came across a punk rock group known as The Nobs, who befriended her and took her in as an assistant. Although she privately thought their music was terrible, she and lead singer Billy Zone began dating and grew closer together.
One night while the Nobs were playing a concert, Chastity was sent to fetch drumsticks from the group's van parked in an alleyway. In the dark alley she was ambushed by Farley, an obese old vampire in a Union Jack T-shirt. The vampire bit her and drank her blood, though Chastity managed to escape being fully drained by stabbing him in the eye with a drumstick and fleeing before eventually passing out.
When Chastity awoke, she found herself the guest of a beautiful Elder vampire known as the Countess, who explained to the unfortunate girl that she was now a vampire due to the attack. The Countess also discovered that Chastity's vampire status could not be sensed by other vampires, making her a perfect weapon to use against them. At the Countess's urging, Chastity tracked down and tore out the throat of Farley (the vampire who turned her) and found that she enjoyed the act enormously. This marked the start of Chastity's career as an assassin of vampires and the deadliest weapon of the Countess.
Rebooted Origin: Dynamite Entertainment (2014)
After Dynamite Entertainment bought the rights to the Chaos! universe, Chastity's character was rebooted with a radically different origin story. Though still a teenager, Chastity Marks was now an aspiring Olympic gymnast rather than an aspiring actress, and her mother Olivia Marks was a former Olympic bronze medalist who relentlessly pushed her daughter to achieve even greater heights. Their Olympic dreams were sadly cut short when Chastity suffered a devastating knee injury during a gymnastics competition, with doctors saying it was too risky for her to compete again. Olivia shunned her daughter after the injury, regarding her as a failure. Chastity's mild-mannered father Jason threw himself into his defense contractor job rather than offer his daughter emotional support, and Chastity's little brother Raymond was an asthmatic who couldn't relate to her loss since he was never an athlete.
Feeling isolated from her family, Chastity took refuge in the world of fiction books, reading voraciously and becoming an adoring fan of Alyce Stonecliff, the British author of a wildly popular series of vampire romance novels called 'Blood Rose.' When Chastity heard that Alyce was in town for a book signing, she skipped school to be one of the first fans in line. Alyce turned out to be a friendly and attractive woman who thrilled Chastity by offering her a ride home in Alyce's private limousine that evening. But once together in the back of the limo, Alyce made aggressive and unwelcome advances, with Chastity fearing that the other woman intended to sexually assault her. The truth was far worse -- Alyce was really a vampire who intended to make Chastity her next meal.
Chastity managed to escape by smashing a bottle over Alyce's head and kicking open the limo's door, but not before Alyce sank her fangs into her neck. Bleeding from her wound, Chastity ran home on foot with Alyce in hot pursuit. Chastity tried to warn her family what was chasing her but it was too late -- the vampire quickly slaughtered both her parents before they could even react. Chastity tried to protect her little brother Raymond, but Alyce threw her aside and feasted on Raymond's blood. A grief-stricken Chastity attacked and injured Alyce with a large piece of wood, but the vampire retaliated by ripping Chastity nearly in half and leaving her for dead.
Paramedics arriving on the scene were convinced Chastity's horrific wounds were fatal, but rushed her to the emergency room when she inexplicably exhibited life signs. After many hours of surgery, doctors were able to stitch her back together and she eventually made a miraculous recovery. However, she was no longer the same person. A series of strange events led Chastity to discover that her ordeal had transformed her into a 'hybrid' -- a very rare half-human/half-vampire, with all of a vampire's powers but none of their weaknesses -- and her vampiric status could not be sensed by other vampires. With that realization came Chastity's determination to use her new powers to avenge her family and end Alyce's murderous rampage for good.
Chastity was created in 1995 by Brian Pulido, the head of Chaos Comics and principal writer for the company he founded to develop and explore his characters. Visually, Chastity was given her classic look (a sexy punk-goth girl with dominatrix undertones) by the talented and sorely missed Steven Hughes, Pulido's long time collaborator, who designed and drew many of Chaos' now iconic characters.
Like nearly all of Chaos's main characters, Chastity was initially portrayed as completely amoral, enjoying killing for fun, even if her victims were innocents. Her story began in the classic vein of the modern vampire, being a rebellious young teenager whose death would hardly be noticed. In her early appearances she was Evil Ernie's partner in mayhem and developed an unrequited crush on him, but could never live up to his true love Lady Death. (Chastity didn't meet Lady Death until just before the end of the original Chaos universe, and when she did she could not fault Ernie's taste.) During this time Chastity's character was particularly unencumbered by emotion or empathy and was mainly a violent thrill-seeker.
With the telling of her full origin story in 1996, Chastity gradually underwent the most pronounced villain-to-hero arc of all of Chaos's characters. She was made sympathetic by showing her as a typical teenage girl suffering under an abusive father, then having her dreams crushed after she ran away from home, and finally becoming the unfortunate victim of a random vampire attack. Though she still became a vampire assassin afterwards, she used her powers to protect innocent lives rather than take them, killing only evil vampires and other supernatural monsters. When Chastity eventually traveled back home to visit her parents, she confronted her abusive father and beat and humiliated him to end his abuse of her and her mother, but did not violently kill him as she certainly would have in earlier depictions.
Chastity's portrayal as a heroic character continued after Dynamite Entertainment bought the rights to Chastity and gave her a completely new origin story in 2014. Rather than a physically abusive father, Chastity now had an emotionally abusive mother who pushed her daughter too hard to be an Olympic medalist. Instead of being attacked by a random vampire on the street, Chastity was attacked by the main vampire villain of the story, who also murders her parents and turns her brother into a vampire. Chastity is not shown traveling to London or meeting Billy Zone and the Nobs, but in the main Chaos! Universe series published by Dynamite she is still shown to be dating Billy. Therefore it must be assumed that despite having a completely rebooted origin story, some elements of her first origin story still apply to the rebooted Chastity.
With her punk red hair and revealing dominatrix-like outfits, Chastity is considered a prominent example of the 1990's Bad Girl Art movement, and she became a popular choice to render in pinup art even for artists outside of Chaos. Even though Chastity has changed publishers twice since the demise of Chaos Comics in 2002, she has remained a favorite subject among Bad Girl pinup artists.
Major Story Arcs
Chaos Comics Era
The Countess and the Council
One night in Paris, France, the Nobs had a concert but Billy refused to go on until he saw Chastity (which pissed off Miles, the band's manager) and at the last moment she emerged from behind the curtain. Billy makes a comment about how he only sees her after the sun sets and she describes herself as a creature of the night, secretly thinking "if only you knew" and saying nothing else on the subject. She and Billy shared a kiss, but Billy needed to get on stage as the Nobs had just been introduced. Chastity promised Billy that she will be waiting for him there after the set but then vanishes. As the concert began, Miles seems to be the only one that noticed her disappearance.
Thinking to herself that she had an hour until the set was finished, she began dressing up for her next mission, with a slew of new accessories from wigs to clothes, she dressed herself and made her way to the Tazarand Opera House. At said establishment, a show presenting the latest in fetish fashion is taking place, the line headed by Jodoin, Chastity's target and the head of the French vampires. As soon as she arrived on the scene, everyone was immediately attracted by her beauty, including Jodoin who gets the "okay" from his bodyguard as he sensed nothing on her.
Jodoin believes himself to be charming a young woman by the name of "Blanche" whom he plans to feed off of. As such, he takes her with him into his private quarters. Chastity walks out to the balcony and exclaims at the amazing view, her thoughts unknown to the vampire who believes himself to be the predator rather than the prey. Jodoin prepares himself to strike but she spins around spraying cologne in his face. Jodoin is angered but as the two plummet over the balcony ledge he comes to realize that Chastity or "Blanche" is the assassin and a battle between the two begins.
As their fight continues outside the building, Jodoin vocalizes his many questions such as her identity, who sent her, and who would gain from a Blood War, however Chastity does not answer him out loud and rather responds in her mind. She seemed to be under the impression she was doing this simply for the sake of learning to control her vampiric abilities but now she begins to wonder just what exactly the Countess is up to. Chastity finally kicks Jodoin, sending him careening into the arms of a "mother-like" statue whose hands are clasped in prayer, but his body is impaled on these hands.
In great distress with blood and entrails everywhere Jodoin sends out a message to Marcel that "it's a girl," but he is unable to say anything else as Chastity sinks her fangs into his neck, draining him of so much blood that it causes his heart to beat and bring him back to life, a force his body cannot take that leads up to his death in an explosion that disintegrates flesh and bone. Back at the concert, The Nobs are just finishing up when Chaz returns, Miles notices her arrival "just in the nick of time" and assumes she is doped up. Billy is unaware of this and when he exits stage the two have a short and sweet reunion and then go their separate ways to deal with personal stuff, him with the band and her with the Countess.
Now at the Victorian-like abode of the Countess, Chastity attempts to make her stand, saying that she had only been doing this to learn how to be vampire, but she now knew and as such she was finished. The Countess however doesn't even flinch at this declaration and instead tells Chastity that she will be held to her commitment and that her next target will be quite deadly, so she will need training, although fighting for her life is the way Chastity must learn to survive. Chastity retaliates by saying that thanks to her special gift she will simply be able to disappear, as no vampire can seek her out but the Countess disagrees as she shares plenty of personal information about Chastity's past that reveals she knows more about Chas than she originally let on. Finally she says that if Chastity does this for her, the Countess shall than get Ms. Marks into the Shakespeare Academy she dreams of attending.
To take care of the training, Chastity begins working with masters of martial arts, and after time spent with them always gets the same response, that she is simply amazing and there is nothing more they can teach her, so at last it seems she is ready. Meanwhile, she sets a date with Billy to meet her in the night at a street corner and he arrives, continuing to wonder about Chaz and her frequent oddness. Suddenly a gang of boys come out and attack Billy as they notice he's alone but than an incredibly enraged Chastity breaks onto the scene and drives off the group, now left alone with a badly injured boyfriend. She lets him lean on her as they walk to the nearest residence for help and they find it to be none other than Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, whom they proceed to talk with about his work.
This proceeds with everything returning to normal for a time and The Nobs getting signed for a deal that dictates they shall now go on tour in New York City. The band seems ecstatic and Billy asks Chaz to join them, but she says she can't...thinking about her mission. Later that same night she storms into the home of the Countess once more, this time saying she is finished, and not giving the Countess time to respond. One day later, after Billy is kidnapped, Chastity learns of it from Miles and the band and this time when she goes to meet the Countess, she demands her boyfriend but Rudolpho easily manhandles her and the Countess explains that if she wants Billy again, she will do exactly what the Countess asks of her.
So she prepares for her mission, hopefully her final mission, which is once again an assassination, this one The Countess knows will be enough to push the Council over the edge and begin another Blood War, the target...Von Wilhelm, a German vampire. Von Wilhelm already knows of the assassin and so has his werewolf bodyguard Shultz on the lookout. They come to the end of a dock, likely planning on boarding the ship anchored beside it, and so when they do come upon Chastity, who is of course disguised and also holding some alcohol, she is pretending to be drunk, but they seem to know already that she is not actually intoxicated.
Chastity seems to falter but it is merely in preparation for her attack, and with a swiftness she strikes, knocking Von Wilhelm into the water and causing his bodyguard to retaliate, ripping off her disguise and unveiling her as the assassin, though he seems quite surprised that she appears to be merely a "little girl". He proves to be too fast for her as he makes the transformation from man to wolf in but the blink of an eye and sends her flying into the waters. Von Wilhelm has already pulled himself onto the ship by the anchor-chain and Shultz leaps aboard, doing his best to sniff out his prey. Chastity is suddenly heard as a crash from below the ship resounds, as she has propelled herself through the bottom, and created a massive leak which soon fills the lower quarters with water.
Von Wilhelm goes below the deck into the quickly-filling lower quarters and finds no scent, allowing Chastity to very easily come up from behind him, knock him unconscious and disarm him. She than proceeds to worry about the werewolf when suddenly he bursts through the deck floor, in other words, dropping down right on her with claws at the ready and prepared to kill. She realizes fighting him in close quarters will not bring victory and begins to leap about until she escapes the boundaries of the below-deck area and lures him out into the open air where he gets smashed in the chest by an anchor. She than follows him deep into the waters, speeding to ensure she reaches him before he recovers, suffocating him into blackness under the depths.
When the blackness starts to become light, Shultz's eye adjust and he sees standing before him none other than Chastity, as they are in the now flooded room beneath the ship's deck. Shultz is chained to his master, so that their backs are to one another and they ask Chastity why they are not yet dead. She responds with quite the unexpected answer, revealing that it is the Countess behind all this (though they seem to disbelieve her) and she continues to explain her motivation in the matter and asks for an agreement that if she proves what she says to be true that she'll be free of this whole mess...and a deal is struck.
Now, dressed in a completely different look once again Chastity returns to the Countess, this time seemingly have just completed what the Countess has been working so hard to accomplish, thrusting the world into another Blood War. However, to her surprise it seems Chastity was only luring the Countess into saying something that would lead to her own downfall, a confession of her actions and intent. Suddenly, the Council appears on the bridge behind Chastity and the Countess knows its all over. In a last ditch effort (also known as suicide) Rudolpho leaps into the fray with hopes to slay Billy, but Chastity effortlessly disposes of him. Than she delivers the blow that seals the demise of the Countess, leaving the Council to finish her off. Than she gets into the car that had been sitting there, with a drunk Billy in the passenger seat and goes on her way, having perhaps just earned herself a position as the Council's assassin if ever the need arises. Chastity than returns Billy to the Nobs, but not before showing Miles whose boss. However, she does not go with the boys, rather she tells them that there's something she has to do and so they part ways, at least for now.
Returning to the place where it all began in Toledo, Ohio in the Christmastime, she opens her front door to find her father dancing with a woman whom she does not know. Telling the lady to leave, which she does, a confrontation begin between father and daughter as without hesitation Lorenzo begins to yell at her, cuss her out, and eventually swing his fist at her but she takes it all in stride and effortlessly blocked his fist with her own hand. She tells him that the only reason he is the way he is, why he's so abusive, is because deep down he is nothing but a coward. She than throws him across the room into a cabinet which presumably breaks but not before causing a box of scissors to fall to the floor. Chastity walks over to the spilled utensils, taking one of them in hand and approaches her fallen father, rage clearly seen on her face and she shouts, "Now it's your turn!"
Having done what was needed to be done, Chastity goes to the hospital to see her mother and gives her mother some comforts, the two have a little bonding time and Chastity assures her mother that her father won't be a problem anymore, they made their sacrifices and now he's made his...she destroyed his perfect hair. Now, out in New York City, the Nobs are having a concert and the crowd seems to be going berserk with excitement. Backstage, the boys begin to doubt Chaz is coming, but as usual she arrives just in the nick of time, sharing a kiss with Billy and than enjoying the concert by leaping into the crowd.
Dynamite Entertainment Era
The battle against Alyce Stonecliff
While in surgery following the near-fatal attack by the vampire Alyce Stonecliff, Chastity suffered horrific nightmares of Alyce trying to devour her, but somehow was able to sever Alyce's psychic connection. Post surgery, despite being pumped full of painkillers, Chastity woke and remembered that her little brother Raymond had also been attacked by Alyce. Her hospital room was on the 8th floor, but she thought nothing of breaking through the window and leaping from rooftop to rooftop to return to her family home, only to find that Raymond had become a vampire under Alyce's control. A pitched battle between brother and sister ensued, though it was interrupted by the arrival of the police. Raymond fled into the night while Chastity, still not fully recovered from many hours of surgery, returned to the hospital.
Chastity's aunt Candy visited the hospital and took Chastity into her home, where Chastity tried to return to a normal life. Though her aunt proved to be far more kind and loving than her own mother ever was, Chastity struggled to fit in with her new classmates at school, and was bullied rather than pitied for being the only survivor of her family's slaughter. When Chastity finally fought back and broke the nose of the most persistent bully, she was disturbed to find herself craving the resulting blood on the floor. Chastity was repeatedly questioned by a succession of police detectives about her parents' murder and her brother's disappearance, though she told them very little since she knew the truth would not be believed, and she also hoped to hunt down and kill Alyce herself. But the next detective on the case, inspector David Lapine, suspected she was holding back and noticed her hungry reaction to his blood when he staged a paper cut in his office.
Later that night, Chastity noticed a shadowy figure on a nearby rooftop watching her through her bedroom window. Thinking it was Alyce or Raymond, she leaped to the rooftop to attack, only to realize the stalker was actually a large werewolf. After a struggle the werewolf revealed himself to be inspector Lapine, explaining that he was there to help her. Lapine told Chastity many things about her new existence: She was now a 'hybrid': a half-human, half-vampire, with all of a vampire's powers but none of their weaknesses. He further explained that hybrids were feared and hated by normal vampires since they cannot be detected by them -- therefore they are very rare, being targeted by vampires for extermination. He also revealed his personal interest in helping Chastity: anything that vampires are afraid of, werewolves want to keep around.
Meanwhile tensions had escalated between the European Council of Vampires and Alyce Stonewell, who repeatedly ignored the Council's warnings to curtail her out-of-control killing sprees, which could soon bring all of humanity down against their kind. After yet another of her multiple murders made the news, the exasperated Council finally voted to terminate Alyce and sent a horde of giant vampire bats to perform the task. But they greatly underestimated how powerful Alyce's bloodlust had made her: she single-handedly massacred the entire horde, then taunted the Council by shipping the severed heads back to them in a crate. Drunk on victory and blood, Alyce decided it was time to demonstrate that vampires should openly prey on humans rather than lurk in the shadows. She went to a crowded nightclub called Club Dante and proceeded to slaughter everyone in attendance, while Raymond blocked the exits and killed those who tried to escape.
Hearing about Alyce's rampage on the radio, Chastity and Lapine raced to the nightclub. Lapine took down Raymond by impaling him on a table while Chastity engaged in battle with Alyce. After Chastity succeeded in snapping one of Alyce's wrists the European Council of Vampires arrived in force, subduing Alyce with spiked silver chains. The Council apologized to Chastity for what Alyce had done to her family and gave her the honor of avenging them, which Chastity did by ripping Alyce's head from her body. The Council departed, satisfied that Chastity was a useful ally despite being a hybrid. At that point the nightclub had caught fire and was burning out of control. Still impaled, Raymond called out to Chastity to save him, but she realized there was nothing left of her brother to save and all that remained was a murderous vampire like Alyce. Chastity and Lapine fled the scene, leaving Raymond to be consumed in the blaze.
In the aftermath of the battle, Chastity adopted her signature punk/goth look for the first time. She was shown explaining to a vampire she had captured in a warehouse that the Council must have exerted their considerable wealth and influence to cover up what had really happened at Club Dante. Official news reports made no mention of a vampire attack and blamed the tragedy's high body count entirely on the fire, naming famous 'Blood Rose' author Alyce Stonecliff among the victims. Demonstrating her continued commitment to the destruction of murderous vampires, Chastity then terminated the captive vampire with a silver knife.
Chastity later went on a long trip to Europe, though what she did there was not shown or explained. Presumably she went at the invite of the Council and met Billy Zone and the Nobs while there (paralleling events that took place during Chastity's first Chaos! Comics origin story). She returned home to New York City during Christmastime, in another nod to her first origin story that also culminated in a Christmas visit home. Hearing reports of a series of child abductions by a suspect dressed as Santa Claus, Chastity investigated, believing the suspect could be a vampire. Her instincts proved correct after she tracked a young girl who had just gone missing into the city sewers. There Chastity discovered a vampire's lair, full of children kept in cages. Chastity confronted the vampire, who was dressed in a Santa outfit and about to devour his most recent catch, and fought and killed him. She then rescued the children and returned them safely to their parents.
Chastity ran into inspector Lapine on the street shortly afterwards and they had a brief catchup. Lapine revealed he had gotten married during Chastity's absence and invited her to his house to have Christmas dinner with his new wife. Chastity thanked him for the offer but said she'd have to take a raincheck as she had other plans. She then went to a movie theater that was playing old Christmas movies to celebrate the holidays on her own.
Powers and Abilities
Original Chaos Comics version
Despite being considered quite young for her kind (in both human and vampire years), Chastity is one of the most formidable vampires in the Chaos! universe. She has all of the powers of a vampire and possesses the strength of ten men. Thanks to the uncompromising demands of the Countess, who wished to mold Chastity into a perfect assassin of vampires, Chastity rigorously trained with a number of martial arts masters to the point where she mastered all of their fighting techniques. Her deadly fighting skill combined with her vampire powers enables Chastity to hold her own in combat even against adversaries of godlike power, such as Purgatori. Her fighting prowess extends to a mastery of melee weapons, with a pair of curved daggers wielded in each hand being her personal preference. She has also been well trained in all other aspects of the art of assassination, including stealth, tracking, disguise, infiltration, and escape artistry.
Chastity's most unique power is her ability to go completely undetected as a vampire by all other vampires, which even extends to disguising her thoughts if they happen to be telepathic. Other vampires perceive Chastity to be nothing more than a harmless human teenager and 'easy prey' -- making them easy prey for Chastity if they are her target for assassination. Chastity still possesses the acting talent she had when she aspired to be an actress, which she uses to seem even more innocent and enticing to unsuspecting vampires before striking the killing blow.
Weaknesses: Though more powerful than most vampires, Chastity still shares two of their key weaknesses -- she cannot tolerate direct sunlight, and she craves blood and must subsist on it. Since she refuses to drink the blood of innocent humans, she only drinks the blood of animals or evil vampires that she terminates. She does not seem to have other traditional vampire weaknesses -- she suffers no ill effects from running water, and she cannot be warded away by crucifixes or other holy symbols.
Rebooted Dynamite Entertainment version
Thanks to a radically different origin story, Chastity is now considered to be an extremely rare half-human, half-vampire hybrid -- giving her all the powers of a vampire but none of their weaknesses, much like another famous Bad Girl vampire character, Vampirella. Chastity can operate during the day under direct sunlight as easily as a normal human. Though she has a taste for blood, she does not need it to survive and can subsist on normal food. Her hybrid nature also gives her the same key ability as her original incarnation -- she is completely undetectable as a vampire to all other vampires, and they perceive her to merely be a harmless human girl.
Because she has not met the Countess in this continuity, the rebooted Chastity has not been shown to undergo the intensive martial arts and assassination training that she had in her original incarnation. Therefore it must be assumed she is not yet as skilled or disciplined a fighter as she was before. Instead she is more of a freestyle fighter, combining her vampire powers with her acrobatic skill as a former gymnast when she battles opponents.