Bram Velsing was a brilliant Latverian scientist that served Doctor Doom. Velsing was not content to simply execute the technological schemes of Doom and started to show rebellious ambitions. Learning of this, Doom had a skull-like mask permanently fused to Velsing's face and left him in the Balkan wilds. Anguished and humiliated, Velsing fled Latveria and eventually fell under the care of the Children, the genetic creations of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, tended by Frankenstein's great-granddaughter, Victoria.
Dreadknight was created for use in Marvel comics by Bill Mantlo and George Tuska. The character's first appearance was in Iron Man #101, which was released in July 1977.
Major Story Arcs
Stealing a Stallion
While being nursed back to health at her castle, Velsing encountered the winged horse of the criminal Black Knight, which Victoria had tried to restore to normal, but only furthered mutating it. Dubbing the stallion Hellhorse, Velsing decided to use the horse, his scientific intellect, and terrifying visage to seek revenge against Doom. Taking the name Dreadknight he sought to steal Victor Frankenstein's secret notebooks, but was thwarted by Frankenstein and Iron Man and he was left in Victoria's custody.
Velsing remained in the castle for a time, kept unconscious by Frankenstein's creatures until the sorceress Morgan Le Fay and her son Mordred revived him to fight the hero Black Knight. Velsing fought the Black Knight in northern Ireland, who at the time was possessed by the original Black Knight, Sir Percy of Scandia. Velsing's lance was shattered during the battle and he was defeated.
After Doctor Doom's apparent death at the hands of Onslaught, Latveria was thrown into civil war. Velsing tried to assume power, but was defeated by Spider-Man and Sandman, who was working as a vigilante at the time.
At one point, Clint Barton used Dreadknight's armor in order to infiltrate the Thunderbolts. The real Dreadknight's current activities remain unknown.
Earth-1610 (Ultimate Universe)
Apparently Bram Velsing had a very large fortune. He restored Castle Frankenstein and lived there. He bought the only copy of the Iron Man technology and planned to sell it, but later decided to create more armor like the Iron Man armor. When Tony Stark learned this, he went to pick up Velsing's stolen technology. Dreadknight arranged to battle Stark. Ultimately, Bram was locked up in his armor and told Iron Man all that he wanted to know.
- Dreadknight appears as a recurring villain in Iron Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Neil Dickson. He is part of the team of supervillains that serve as the Mandarin's minions. Due to censorship guidelines, his Hellhorse was renamed "Nightwing."
- The Dread Knights appear in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode "Ancient History 101." Rather than being a single man, the Dread Knights are an army of stone statues brought to life as one of the first Mandarin's tests.
- Dreadknight was featured in ToyBiz's action figure line for the 90s Iron Man TV series.
- Dreadknight was featured in Hasbro's Super Hero Squad line as part of a four-pack with Iron Man, the Mandarin and Stealth Armor Iron Man.
- Dreadknight was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line as part of the SDCC-exclusive Raft box set.