Though not the first vampire in fiction, Dracula was the most successful. Appearing in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker in 1895 the book has not been out of print since then. While the book never openly states that he's Vlad Tepes, a Vallachian Voivode who lived during the 15th century, it's only implied that he is and was there fighting the Turks. The name Dracula means "small dragon" in Romanian, for he and his father belonged to this order of saint knights. The legend started when Bram Stoker read a part of his memoirs still stored at the British museum at the end of the 19th century.
The fact that Stoker's novel is in the public domain, and the fertile ground for exploration that is the vampire myth, assures that the King of the Vampires will not be going away any time soon.
"I still dream of teeth and power."
Dracula is the most powerful vampire in the Marvel Universe. Though not the first of his kind, he is considered lord of all Earth's vampires. Dracula is the father of Lilith and Janus and is frequently opposed by Blade the vampire hunter.
Vlad Tepes was a Transylvanian warlord who gained the nickname "Vlad the Impaler" from his particular love of impaling his enemies. In life, he was a highly feared yet respected warlord who stopped at nothing to attain victory. When Vlad began having dreams about winning a battle against the Turks, he decided that his force should take on the invaders, thinking that his dreams were prophetic. Vlad's forces were supposed to lose the battle, due to the deceiving dreams being the work of Varnae, who is truly the first vampire and had chosen Vlad to be his successor, but managed to drive the intruders out using his superior strategic mind and abilities. However, the victory over the Turkish was short-lived, as Vlad's troops were mercilessly slain by Apocalypse and his Riders of the Dark. Vlad was the only survivor of the attack, and he just barely managed that. The warlord Turac had seen the assault, and sent one of his men to aid the injured Vlad, believing that he could use him to lead his military to global domination. Vlad was then sent to the residential healer, Lianda, who turned out to be a vampire. In order to heal Vlad, Lianda made him one of her own.
Dracula then went on to live under the lordship of Turac in one of his towns, and did not realize his vampiric abilities until Turac and his men killed Vlad's wife, Maria. Infuriated by the homicide, Vlad brutally killed Turac and his men. After he had done so, he felt he needed to escape. He dropped off his son, Vlad Tepulus who was named after him, to be raised by a group of residential gypsies and attempted to leave the town. On his way out, he was confronted by a group of Varnae's agents, and was escorted to the lair of Varnae to make a deal with their master. Varnae put Vlad through a series of tests to see if he was truly capable of being the king of the vampires. He was forced to slay Nimrod, who had posed as the ruler of earth's vampires. He did this with some ease, but was soon after confronted and destroyed by a band of priests.
Varnae acknowledged the defeat, but did not give up on Vlad. Varnae resurrected Vlad with the blood of the niece of the head priest who had defeated Vlad. The king of the undead then aimed to kill the girl, but was himself killed by a grateful Dracula. Vlad then drank his blood, and became the king of the undead. This event showed Varnae that Vlad was fit enough to be the king of the vampires, so Varnae decided it was his time to go.
After Varnae handmade an enchanted casket for Vlad, to protect him from the sun, he killed himself by walking into the sunlight unshielded. Thus began the reign of Count Dracula. Throughout the next few centuries, Dracula reigned supreme over many European lands. Dracula was often killed, but never stayed defeated; using his mystic and unholy abilities to revive himself upon death.
While already famous via the novel, in plays, and several movies, a character called Dracula would not make it into a comic book until 1951 in Marvel’s Suspense. After the Comics Code Authority came about he once again became scarce but reappeared with the weakening of the code in the 1970’s.
He was then reimagined by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan and published in Tomb of Dracula #1, in 1972.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Dracula fought Jonathan Harker, Abraham Van Helsing, Mina Harker, John Seward, and Quincey Morris. This conflict is chronicled in Bram Stoker's Dracula. After his apparent death, Dracula was resurrected by accident from the Frankenstein monster. Later Dracula caught wind of Clan Akkaba, which was a large following of the god-mutant Apocalypse, the same Apocalypse who brought about his downfall as Vlad the Impaler.
Using his extensive resources to find more out about the Clan, Dracula began attacking them, killing off their members rigorously. He then manipulated the now vampiric Clansmen to do his will from within the clan, turning all but a handful of the members into Dracula's undead army, who also had mutant abilities thanks to the blood of Apocalypse flowing through their veins.
After many battles between the remaining Apocalypse followers, along with the vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing and Dracula's army, Apocalypse managed to impale Vlad through the heart. Apocalypse refused to take Abraham's advice, though, and did not do anything to keep Dracula permanently killed.
Major Story Arcs
Dracula returned a few years later and killed Abraham, but unknown to Vlad at the time Abraham had a apprentice named Quincy Harker. He was the son of John and Mina Harker. Another century later, Dracula found himself in the United States. Much to his disgust, Dracula found Adolf Hitler and his Nazi followers imprisoning and slaying his own gypsy followers. In order to put a stop to this, Dracula teamed up with Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos and helped bring down the Nazi empire.
A few months after Dracula assisted in the Nazi downfall, he turned his attention to Castle Mordo in Transylvania. When Dracula began to turn some of the Castle's inhabitants into his vampiric slaves, Baron Mordo successfully managed to fend off the vampire lord. The year after this Dracula observed the transformation into his werewolf form of a man later found to be the father of Jack Russell. Dracula deduced accurately that the reason for this transformation must involve the notorious Darkhold, which was one of the only objects that could cure Vlad of his vampiracy. Vlad kept an eye on the lycan population from behind the scenes for the next few years, slowly building a strategy.
Afterwards, Vlad tracked down the famed vampire hunter, Jamal Afari, who was also the mentor of Blade, and killed him. After the death, Blade swore to see to it that Dracula died at his hands. Many years later, Dracula again turned his attention to the home of Baron Mordo, but decided it unwise to attack the sorcerer, remembering his past encounter with him.
Dracula versus the Dracula Hunters
Frank Drake would inherit the Castle of Dracula and go to its location in plans to sell it. Drake is occupied by his fiance Jeanie and friend Clifton Graves. Clifton stumbles across the corpse of Dracula and accidentally awakenings him. After being the only survivor Frank Drake almost commits suicide, but is stopped by Rachel Van Helsing. Drake is introduced to Quincy Harker. Quincy Harker soon advanced into Vllad's deadliest enemy as his successor Abraham Van Helsing was. Quincy had set-up a network of vampire hunters through-out the world. Vllad dwindled this number to only a few through the years. They were called the Dracula Hunters. Eventually Quincy died trying to rid the world of his evil in a final battle.
Dracula would get his revenge on another Dracula Hunter Rachel Van Helsing by turning her into what she hated and hunted and killed. Dracula would soon cross paths with X-Men and Storm who he had had obsessed over. He tried turning Storm into his new bride, but was stopped by the X-Men with the help of Rachel Van Helsing, who was now a vampire. Next the Six Fingered Hand would take control of Dracula and have him attack the superhero team Defenders. Dracula would get out of his control and allied himself with the Defenders against the Six-Fingered Hand saga.
Dracula would soon cross paths with the Mighty Thor, when he tried to turn Lady Sif into his next bride. A few of the Dracula Hunters (Hannibal King, Frank Drake, and Blade) would reunite to help Dr. Strange rid the world of vampires by using the Montesi Formula. This happened with Dracula's quest and craving for the Darkhold book's power brought him in control of the Darkholder's Cult, this would put the vampire Lord and the Sorcerer Supreme on a race to retrieve the book first.
The Montesi Formula lasted several years, until Blade returned the vampires by using the Darkhold. Upon his return, his daughter Lilith would control Charles Seward (Who is related to the late John Seward), who created a formula to stop the blood disease of vampirism. The formula backfired, and made a epidemic spread to normal people, but was stopped by Dracula himself.
He recently has had dealings with his daughter Lilith, duping her into calling a gathering of all the great leaders of the various vampire families and then slaying them single handily, by the sword.
Dracula then found himself a new castle on the moon, where he made plans to invade Great Britain. He made an allegiance with Doctor Doom - all of this seeming to be part of the Dark Reign started by Norman Osborn. He launched an attack on Great Britain in an attempt to establish a country for the vampire race with the aid of Lilith, mother of of Demons and Captain Fate. Despite careful planning, he was outmaneuvered by Pete Wisdom and MI:13. His armies were destroyed and Dracula himself was killed by Faiza Hussain with the sword Excalibur. In the end, he was unable to overcome the holy blade, despite his superior physical abilities and swordsmanship skills, resulting in him being stabbed through the chest and turning to ash.
His devotees quickly collected his ash and brought him back to life. Dracula then prepared for the vampire gathering, which takes place once every century. All the vampire sects gathered along with his two sons, Janus and Xarus. Xarus, with the help of the leaders of the Charniputra, Nosferatu and Atlantean Sects killed his father.
Curse of the Mutants
During the Curse of the Mutants arc, he is brought back to life by the X-Men who hoped he would aid them against Xarus. He declined their offer and took his leave of them. Only to return at the end to reclaim his throne and torture his son.
Powers and Abilities
Vampires in general have superior strength and reflexes. Dracula being older and being the recognized Lord of Vampires should be considered to have Super-Strength and Super Reflexes. (He once back-handed Colossus, felling him with one blow.) Dracula has command over several natural elements, such as summoning storms, and control over the lesser creatures (Bats, Rats and Wolves). Dracula has very powerful abilities where hypnosis, suggestion and memorization are concerned, and only the strongest minds/wills (such as Professor X or Dr. Strange) would be capable of resisting him. Dracula's own will is practically indomitable and he himself is seemingly immune to any kind of will-controlling powers.
This, combined with his powers of invulnerability, allowed him to nearly withstand the full fury of a mystic energy attack from Dr Strange at close range before finally falling. It is a credit to Dracula's powers that he was actually able to use mental suggestion upon Dr. Strange himself, making him think he had actually destroyed the Vampire Lord, thus allowing Dracula to escape complete annihilation.
Dracula has shape-changing abilities, such as turning into an insubstantial mist that can still direct itself about according to his will. He can also change into various animals, but prefers to travel as a bat. Apparently he can control the size and degree of transformation from a normal sized bat to one of monstrous proportion (6 foot wingspan) as well as a demonic looking half-humanoid were-bat variation. Dracula is invulnerable to all mundane weapons except the wooden stake (when thrust directly through his heart.) He has tremendous healing faculties, recovering from most damage, including magical damage, given time. Fresh human blood will accelerate healing and increase all powers temporarily.
He has complete control over lesser vampires and can command them as an army. Only a direct challenge and trial by combat by another vampire can unseat his authority.
Dracula is a master tactician and thoroughly competent in all the Knightly weapons of the 1400's, which seem to be his favorite choice when he decides to use something other than his bare hands, themselves being tipped with semi-long pointed fingernails. Combined with his super-strength and invulnerability they have been used with feral and bloody efficiency, even scoring metal upon occasion.
Dracula is also capable of recovering/resurrecting from utter destruction as long as his ashes or bones are recovered by someone. Usually some kind of magical ritual is necessary to activate this resurrection, though sometimes it can be as simple as the tears of a virgin being poured on his remains to bring him back to un-life. It is also rumored that Dracula drank women's blood because it was more pure than men's blood.
Dracula was a powerful vampire but next to Purgatori, he was practically nothing. He was first her lover and swore his loyalty to her, but this could not last.
Eventually she judged him too be powerful in the Vampire Clan Wars and she decided he would have to be brought down. So, while she sought out the Chalice of Regeneration he used her to almost gain it for himself, she would not allow that and battled him at the Vatican where after a strenuous battle she ripped his fangs out and he was permanently burned by the rising sun.
Count Dracula was a murderous vampire who ruled in Transylvania. He was killed in his coffin while sleeping by the villagers of his town. They shipped his body to Gotham City in the 1600's, they then buried his body underground so that no one would find it. After being dead for centuries, the Penguin came by looking for a fortune, but instead found Dracula's body. Penguin accidentally cut himself, and the blood dropped onto Dracula's dead body. He then a woke, and made Penguin his eyes and ears of Gotham.
Dracula became obsessed with Batman, thinking that his legacy of darkness has gone on even after his death. Dracula confronted Batman and asked him to join his living of the undead, Batman rejected this offer. Furious of this, Dracula attacked Batman and nearly killed him, however the sun came up and almost killed Dracula. Dracula also got obsessed with bringing his dead wife back to life. To do this he used the life force of Vicki Vale, The Count nearly succeeded in doing so, however the Batman stopped him just in time.
Since Dracula knew that his minions have been taken out, Dracula had to fight Batman One-On-One. They had a destructive battle, that lead to the Batcave where Batman had a plan. After Batman being nearly killed, and Alfred knocked out, Batman used his prototype sun energy storing device, when Dracula started to burn up, Batman delivered a punch to that finally ended his reign of darkness.
Sacred Ancestor (Vampire Hunter D)
"Transient guests are we....."
The Sacred Ancestor is the most ancient ruler of the Nobility and perhaps the progenitor of the entire race being the original pure blood dating back to at least to Earth's creation. He also seems to have a connection to the origins of Vampire Hunter D, possibly as his paternal father based upon recognition by Count Magnus Lee---one of the oldest and most powerful members of the surviving Greater Nobility. Not much is known about the Sacred Ancestor's early existence. Rumors among the Greater Nobility seem to indicate that he was obsessed with a woman named "Mina the Fair" about ten thousand years ago. It was said that he was unable to attain this woman, and this lead to him being reduced to dust. It is known that after the atomic war that nearly wiped out humanity in 1999, the vampires, under the Sacred Ancestor's leadership, rose to power, and subjugated the human survivors. He reigned as King of the Nobility, and even though many of his followers believed it was their right to inflict terror on their human servants, however, the Sacred Ancestor did not support such trivial pursuits and in fact, even felt a level of respect towards humanity.
Note: While many sources do not refer to him by name, the English dubbing of the first Vampire Hunter D film has Count Magnus Lee ask D if his sire was Count Dracula, implying that is who the Sacred Ancestor is.
He says this after looking back and forth between D and the picture of Dracula on the wall. At one point, the image fades to D's face, transposing the images.
Powers and Abilities
The Sacred Ancestor, who is more like a force of nature than a Vampire. His mere presence is described as being darker than a black hole, and can crush a person's psyche. He is a being that posses the density of infinitely compacted darkness. He's able to summon large storms to blot out the sun, teleport vast distances, annihilate a castle and created a hole a few miles in circumference and over a mile deep with a wave of his cape.
He was able to cut down a fleeing Noble's coffin, which was nearly a mile underwater, and created a trench almost 1.25 miles long, 50 feet at its widest, and nearly 2 miles deep in the process. Raise a village hundreds of feet out of a poisonous valley with a gesture. Summon magma from the earth to envelop his opponent, can instantly freeze his opponent down to absolute zero, even after covering them with above magma, and stopped a reversed planet sized meteorite ripped from a celestial body sent by Valcua on a collision course with Earth.
Castlevania (Original Timeline)
"What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets!"
Count Vlad Tepes Dracula is the primary antagonist of the Castlevania video game franchise. He is a former Holy Knight who renounced God following the Death of his wife and became the Lord of Darkness. The game Aria of Sorrow reveals that he is the personification of Chaos, the source of Evil. He is based on Bram Stoker's character, which was in turn based on the infamous Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia.
Lament of Innocence
Dracula's origin is explained in the game Lament of Innocence, set in 1094. He was originally named Mathias Cronqvist, (a possible reference to Matthias Corvinus of Hungary) and was best friends with Leon Belmont. They formed an undefeatable company, Mathias being a tactical genius and Leon a warrior without peer.
However, Mathias eventually lost his wife Elisabetha and became bedridden with grief. One year later, he reveals to Leon that the Vampire Lord Walter Bernhard has kidnapped his own betrothed Sara Trantoul.
After Leon kills Walter, it is revealed that Mathias was behind the whole quest. Blaming God for the loss of his wife, Mathias gained the Crimson Stone: a highly powerful alchemical artifact that absorbs the soul of slain vampires, and became a vampire himself.
Mathias manipulated Walter into kidnapping Sarah and Leon into killing him, so that he would take his soul and powers with the Crimson Stone and take from him the Ebony Stone: an artifact that controls Darkness. Mathias expected that Leon, knowing the pain of losing his loved one, would side with him. However, Leon swore that the Belmont family would hunt him and the Night. Disappointed, Mathias turned into a bat and flew away, ordering Death to deal with him.
During the following centuries, Mathias renamed himself Count Dracula and built his Dark Castle, the Castlevania, in Transylvania.
Not much is known about what Dracula did back then. He had yet to become entirely evil though, since he had a relationship with a human woman called Lisa Fahrenheit (a possible reincarnation of Elisabetha). This union would bear a son, Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes who would be later known as Alucard. Lisa was later executed as her expertise in medicine was called out as "witchcraft", under her son's helpless watch. Enraged beyond belief, Dracula declared war against mankind, becoming irredeemably evil.
He later became King of the Night, ruler of all Evil. Despite emulating his father early in his life, Alucard chose to follow his mother’s steps instead of his father’s. He chose the anagram "Alucard" ("Dracula" spelled backwards) for his new name as a symbol of his desire to oppose his father's designs.
Powers and Abilities
"You should bear that in mind. God is unable to help the souls of those terminated by my hand!"
Dracula is frighteningly powerful. It has been speculated, but not confirmed, that the longer he is around, the younger and mightier he becomes. When he unleashes his full might, he becomes a huge demon and his power skyrockets. He wields the power of Dominance (to absorb the souls and powers of any being), Mimicry (to copy someone else's power), and Hellfire (to conjure and shape fire from Hell itself).
He can sense people's presence and connections to others; manifest himself where he is not physically present; create and transform immense locations like his Haunted Castle that he completely controls; cause disasters and rains of blood; cast an everlasting night on his domain; drag his foes into hellish planes; possess things and people; and cast a wide array of curses over entire countries, to the point of withering the land and corrupting the population even after his death.
Dracula has complete control over Evil and Hell. He draws power from the Chaotic Realm in which human malice gathers. All monsters and malevolent beings pledge loyalty to him; most regarding him as a "savior" able to cleanse the world anew. His mere presence is enough to drive normal people mad and to corrupt his surroundings. He is also able to increase the evil in people’s hearts, and to surround himself with evil energy or pure Darkness.
Dracula also masters the common vampiric powers to an unmatched extent. He can not only transform into a wolf, a bat or a cloud of mist but also into a gigantic swarm of countless bats, a cloud of poison and transform his cloak into bat-like wings or worse. He has incredible strength and he can compel hordes of animals into obedience, control the weather, and drain blood through mere contact.
Not only Dracula "lives" forever, but he can only be harmed when struck in the head or the chest with specific weapons. Even worse, he always resurrects 100 years after being killed, when enough human malice gathers. Not counting those who resurrect him through Dark Rituals.
Dracula's first appearance in the Buffyverse, was in the Season 5 Episode " Buffy Vs. Dracula" of the television series. Dracula came to Sunnydale because heard about the powers of a slayer and wanted to meet one. He hypnotizes Xander so that he can become his slave and his eyes around Buffy and the gang. Xander is the one to lead the team to his castle which is located the outskirts of Sunnydale. After Buffy staked him and the gang left Dracula reformed out of mist.
After the annihilation of Sunnydale Dracula kidnapped Xander again. After finding his castle Buffy went to rescue her friend. Dracula tried to scare her but Buffy brushed this off. While they were fighting Dracula told Buffy on how he had become a joke and warned that she would one day be forgotten. Buffy scoffed at this and laughed at Dracula for his mid-life crisis. After the fight Dracula agreed to let Xander go.
Sometime after Xander's capture some vampires who had abilities like that of Dracula attacked the slayer headquarters in Scotland. They stole Buffy's Scythe. Hitting a dead end on all their leads Xander and a slayer were sent to ask Dracula for help. When they found Dracula he had become an alcoholic, not having the will to kill anymore. At first sight he shape-shifted into a younger and more attractive appearance. Dracula told Xander that he had a good life since they last met and had a new manservant. Though after a while Dracula revealed that he lost his powers (save shape shifting) while drunk in a bet with Japanese vampires.
He agreed to help Buffy and her army of slayers fight the vampires in Tokyo. While in Scotland he helped Willow in preparing a spell to protect against the spells of the vampires in Tokyo. In battle Dracula killed many of the vampires and he used his sword to undo the spell of the vampire's. Its not known if he gained his powers back after the battle.
Powers and Skills
Dracula possess many abilities which includes enhanced physical attributes (strength of twenty men), ability to shape-shift (transform into a bat or a wolf) hypnotize, and immortality. Other powers include invisibility, intangibility, telepathy and regeneration. Note his powers varies according to the writer.
Vlad is a very skilled fighter, and a brilliant military tactician. His able to engaged multiple opponents in sword fighting.
- Dracula appeared in the Spider-Woman episode "Dracula's Revenge."
- Dracula appeared in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "The Transylvania Connection ," voiced by Stanley Jones.
- Dracula appeared as a recurring villain in Avengers Assemble, voiced by Corey Burton. This version of the character was based on his more modern design, and was a member of the Red Skull's Cabal. He also has past history with Captain America, having fought alongside the hero when HYDRA invaded Transylvania back during World War 2. This same version of the character also appeared in episodes of Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., with Corey Burton reprising his role both times.
- In 1980, Japanese animation studio Toei produced an OVA (original video animation) based on Marvel's Tomb of Dracula comic books. Dracula was voiced by Kenji Utsumi in the original Japanese version, and by Tom Wyner in the English dub.
- A heavily altered version of Dracula appears as the main antagonist of Blade: Trinity, portrayed by Dominic Purcell. This version of Dracula is said to have started the Hominus Nocturna race during ancient times, and was known by many names throughout history, including the Babylonian deity Dagon. After three centuries of self-imposed exile, Dracula is revived from his tomb by a group of modern vampires, who hope that he can cure their species of their sunlight weakness. Assuming the name "Drake," Dracula sets out to cleanse the Earth of all vampires and humans, believing them to be genetically inferior to him. He also believes that they will be replaced by a new, more powerful race of vampires, and that Blade will be the first of this new species. During the final battle, Drake is killed with a special virus that targets vampires, which proves to be the only way to destroy the otherwise invincible creature. Out of respect, Drake transforms himself into a copy of Blade just before he dies, allowing the police to mistakenly think that Blade is dead.
- Dracula appears as a playable character in the Marvel Super Hero Squad Online game.
- Dracula appears as an enemy in Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Dracula was featured in ToyBiz's Marvel Legends line as part of a horror themed box set, which also included Werewolf by Night, Frankenstein, and the Zombie.
- Diamond Collectibles produced a Tomb of Dracula statue.
- Sideshow Collectibles produced a diorama depicting a fight between Dracula and Blade.
- Dracula was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Dracula was featured in Diamond Select's Minimates line.
- Dracula was featured in The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection from Eaglemoss Publications.
- Bowen Designs produced a Dracula statue.