Alexander Anderson was a man of many faces and multiple names. Killing Judge Anderson. St. Ferdinand's Orphanage Director Anderson. Angel Dust Anderson. Bayonet Anderson. Assassin Anderson. Noble Enemy. Father Anderson. Judas Priest. Paladin Anderson. Only but a few of the monikers dedicated to an exceptional man whose absolute faith and unwavering devotion led him to a dark path he traversed through courage and victory. His nationality, age and origin are all unknown; the closest to this is the rumor Anderson is linked to and possibly is the main protagonist of Angel Dust, an old manga of Kohta Hirano's from before Hellsing. His first canonical appearance in the Hellsing universe, chronologically, is during a flashback he experiments to some point in time between twenty and thirty years before London's Final Night, from when he met a very young Enrico Maxwell as his charge in Saint Ferdinand's in Rome; from that moment on, Anderson tried to assuage Maxwell's ambitions and thirst for recognition into more positive channels; unfortunately, he spectacularly failed at this attempt. Other orphans under his care were Heinkel Wolfe and Yumie/Yumiko Takagi. Between this time and the beginning of Hellsing, per se, under the auspices of the Vatican's Section XIII, Iscariot, a team of black ops designed to destroy the enemies of the Christian faith, Anderson underwent a mysterious process that granted him multiple powers, most notably regeneration, and increased strength and speed. He was also outfitted with special anti-vampire weaponry, and thus he initiated a career as the Vatican's resident Paladin against supernatural threats, the edge of Iscariot's blade. For years, or possibly decades, before he resurgency of he artificial vampires created by the Millennium Group, Anderson firmly established his reputation as one of the most feared vampire hunters at global level; during this time, former wards Maxwell, Wolfe and Takagi all were inducted into the ranks of Iscariot; Maxwell in the administrative and Internal Affairs branch, and Wolfe and Takagi into the tactical attack squadrons.
Some time after Alucard sired Seras Victoria as his fledging, Anderson, at St. Ferdinand's, was visited by an acquaintance, Father Ronaldo of Iscariot. Ronaldo informed him of the vampire situation in England, and in strict accordance with his somewhat fanatical beliefs, Anderson was pleased many English heretics had died. However, he was directed by Ronaldo in the direction of Badrick, Ireland, where a rogue vampire had been spotted; acting upon belief that since the country was Christian ground meant it was under Iscariot's jurisdiction, he traveled there and arrived some time before Hellsing operatives, killing the master vampire. When Hellsing vampires Alucard and Seras Victoria appeared, Anderson directed a flurry of his trademark bayonets through the fledgling, as to engage the stronger vampire alone. While he was sure not to pierce her heart, he did seal off the building with pages of holy scripture that vampires could not pass. He thus engaged Alucard, and was rewarded with a shot to the forehead from the powerful Casull automatic of the vampire. When Alucard turned his attention away from him, Anderson revived and again confronted the vampire by impaling him with more bayonets. The scuffle kept on until Anderson managed to cleave his enemy's hands and shoulders to a wall, peppered his torso and thorax with more bayonets, and finally decapitated him with a single stroke of his blades. For a minute, as he gloated of his victory, he lost sight of Alucard's head and Seras, who had limped away from the battlefield with her sire's head as she struggled to wrangle the bayonets out of her body.
Meanwhile, the Hellsing envoy in the Vatican had discovered Anderson's involvement, and had reported back to HQ. Hellsing retainer Walter C. Dornez informed his master, Sir Integra Hellsing; she decided to confront Anderson herself with two guards. She arrived shortly after Alucard's defeat, as Anderson was tracking Seras through the house. Killing her guards, he also attempted to bring harm to Sir Integra (who he called "Babylon" in an allusion to the biblical story of the Whore of Babylon), who narrowly avoided it with her own fencing prowess. That moment, Victoria appeared from behind with a rifle and demanded he release Integra. Laughing, Anderson asked why he should; Integra responded by releasing a higher power seal from Alucard, allowing him rebirth and the possibility to make combat of a higher level against the regenerator. When Anderson again attempted to neutralize his resurrected foe, he found the regenerative capabilities of the vampire and his combat abilities made him too dangerous a foe to confront there and then, so he chose to retreat - teleporting away in a flurry of bible pages while vowing to butcher Hellsing, Seras, and Alucard when they next met.
The Rival's Second Meeting
After the decimation of the Hellsing forces, he traveled to London with Maxwell to the Imperial War Museum, to arrange a payment of the blood debt owed to the organization due to his reckless killing of Hellsing operatives. Maxwell's incompetence in displaying finesse and respect for Integra bade for an appearance from Alucard, and Anderson was summoned to deal with the menace. While Maxwell had intended for his presence to be a precautionary measure, he did not take into account both combatants' aggressiveness; both were ready to fight before their masters until a quick strategy deployed by Seras, who led a group of Japanese tourists to their location, made both of them reconsider their willingness to fight. Both retreated peacefully. Anderson later saw on TV in Rome Alucard's televised fight against Millennium lieutenant Tubalcain Alhambra, and later confronted him in Brazil shortly after Alhambra's execution and the declaration of war against Millennium. He got in a fistfight with the vampire and presented him and his group with a letter of passage from the Vatican granting them passage out of Brazil, so they could assist to the anti-Millennium conference at London before the Queen, Integra and Maxwell.
The Cries of War
Shortly before the Millennium trap for stranding Alucard in the middle of the ocean was sprung, he fought a group sympathetic to the Millennium cause, all but shredding his opponents with his usual brand of fury. Then, he was sent with the full roster of Iscariot to monitor the situation at London as the Nazi Army of a Thousand Vampires leveled the city and infested it with their taint. However, he chose to intervene to kill a detachment sent to capture Integra Hellsing, and decided Iscariot's duty was to deliver her to her manor, saying that if the group did not aid a lady at the time (well entered into the night) none could claim to be any better than rapists. This changed when Maxwell's full Riconquista Army entered London and new orders were issued to capture Sir Hellsing. Heinkel attempted to reason with Anderson so they could obey Maxwell's command and get rid of Integra, but Anderson realized Enrico had quit serving God and was now only fulfilling his own agendas and vendettas and refused to follow the order. He would have gone into worse if the full-blooded "Draculina" Seras Victoria had not arrived to protect her boss and drive away the Iscariot priests. Heinkel still attempted to do battle, but Anderson stopped her saying Seras was now beyond Iscariot's response capabilities.
Anderson led Iscariot to the Thames, where their might was added to the main Christian armies; in the center of the plaza, he prepared to lead battle against Millennium when the Eagle warship, moving on black sails of shadow-matter, crashed into the battlefield through the Thames and released Alucard's full army of familiars, who proceeded to lay waste to both Catholic and Nazi armies. Anderson wandered away from the main Iscariot group, who had fled the main battle, and saw how familiars Rip Van Winkle and Tubalcain Alhambra shot down Maxwell's helicopter. He then shattered Maxwell's protected tektite enclosure to allow the familiars to overwhelm and impale him for his crimes. Taking his communicator, Anderson ordered a full retreat, saying the Riconquista was all but a failure. Briefly reminiscing about Maxwell and his desire of personal glory, he left to do battle for a last time against Alucard.
The Final Battle
Upon reaching Alucard, he was almost immediately shot with the Jackal gun, which damaged his left arm beyond his regenerative abilities by blowing off a chunk of it off. Alucard then taunted Anderson, and dared him to cross a field full of familiars to reach him for a final confrontation. Though heavily wounded, Anderson managed to reach Alucard with the aid of the remaining Iscariot priests, who used a brutal kamikaze run to counter Alucard's swarms of familiars and clear a path for Anderson to reach the vampire. He then showed Alucard the top weapon Iscariot had given him: the powerful relic, the Nail of Helena, which once held Christ fast to the cross. Alucard recognized its power and begged Anderson not to sacrifice his humanity in return for power as he once did, but Anderson, genuinely remorseful, responded he only wished to destroy God's enemies, and that he saw the Nail as a means of doing that. Saying this, he pierced his heart with the Nail.
Immediately, his powers grew exponentially, remaking him into a toy of God's power, a living incarnation of the Crown of Thorns of Christ, a humanoid mass of thorny vines with strong holy powers. Lamenting Anderson had taken such a path, stating he now was not any better than any of the monsters he had annihilated (as a monster who recognizes God is hardly different from one that doesn't), Alucard engaged him, but Anderson poured all of his power and strength into a single bayonet, and thrust it against Alucard's heart. The resulting holy fire waves immolated countless familiars on their wake, igniting all things "satanic". Alucard was on the verge of destruction, but then Seras again intervened, stopping the holy bayonet from further penetrating into her sire's heart, allowing him to destroy it and shift into a more powerful shape. This allowed the Master of Monsters to reach Anderson, and before he could react, Alucard ripped out his heart. As he lay dying, he whispered he could hear children, and made peace with Alucard. Friend and foe alike mourned the dead paladin, with Integra cleaving a sword upon the ground so it would form a cross over the body, before his remains were crushed by a Millennium-brainwashed Walter C. Dornez.
His favorite weapons were his trademark blessed silver bayonets (similar to Austrian sword bayonets with modified handles for easier grip), which he either wielded to great effect or threw against enemies with impressive power and accuracy, strong enough to pierce human skulls. When throwing them, he could fling dozens of them per second at a single enemy; another interesting fact is that they never seemed to run out and that he could control their trajectory. He also used different degrees of blessings and gadgets on his bayonets, from somewhat weak, to divinely-empowered, passing through normal or explosive ones. Smaller bayonets to hit between his fingers like claws were also in his arsenal. A piece of equipment seen only once was a chain linking countless explosive bayonets, allowing him to clean a long strip of enemies in a single blow. He wields countless of these bayonets without any apparent place to keep them, so it's assumed he uses a form of divine magic to duplicate them much like Christ performed the loaves and fishes miracle.
He was also fond of using pages of holy scripture to create barriers impenetrable to vampires, often using hundreds of sheets to seal off entire floors, nailing them to the walls and windows. Humans can cross these barriers normally. Anderson can also use these pages in tandem with a large Bible he carries in order to teleport out of tight situations, though the range of this ability is unknown. Most formidably, his greatest power was his regeneration, which kept him largely ageless and fit to fight vampires even though normally he would be a senior citizen. His regeneration was able to allow him to shrug off normal bullets to the brain with little effort; he also could heal of any wound. However, the Jackal gun could stop him due to having been designed against regenerators like him, trumping his regenerative ability and blowing away chunks of flesh with relative impunity.
The final weapon in his arsenal was also the most devastating: the holy relic known as Helena's Nail, which was once recovered by Constantine's mother Helena. As one of the nails that held Christ to the cross, it had immense holy powers and allowed Anderson to survive devastating attacks by making him into a conduit of divine powers, changing him into living masses of vines and thorns; Alucard noted the connection between this and the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus Christ. The holy energies channeled by this power could instantly ignite all thing malevolent or satanic, forcing them to burn with holy fire at mere contact.
Anderson's relationships chiefly include those with his Iscariot comrades, with Maxwell. With other Iscariots, he is a model to follow, almost like a father; this is made more patent due to the fact some of them used to be his own wards at St. Ferdinand's. With Maxwell, he is tense and restless, as the man was not the best example of Christian virtues; while his fanaticism equaled Anderson's, his need for revenge and petty comebacks irritated Anderson to the point he refused to follow Maxwell's commands, and, ultimately identifying him with a mad dog, he allowed Alucard's familiars to kill him to stop him. Lamenting his own failure at correcting his moral flaws, he came with some regret over his death, but chose to use it to fuel his final fight against Alucard.
With Alucard, the relationship grows more complex. Both are warriors in need of a worthy enemy, finding it on each other. Both desired a great fight; moreso in Alucard's case, as he wanted a human such as Anderson to stop him to bring an end to his existence, but upon Anderson's acceptance of the Nail, he becomes a monster of God. Thence, he became nothing more than another monster in the eyes of Alucard, and loses the chance to kill him; as Alucard puts it: "only humans can kill monsters". Alucard genuinely mourns Anderson, and several times called him "beloved foe", referencing their need for each other; both provided a sort of counterbalance to each other, and based upon this, formed an odd sort of rivarly-based friendship; while both claimed to hate each other, they learnt to respect and understand the other.
As for his relationship with Seras, he at first saw her as an annoyance, an obstacle in his path against the Vampire King. However, as time passed, Seras became stronger, and at London's Final Night, Seras surprised him with her transition into a full vampire. Anderson clearly saw her as another worthy foe upon seeing her willingness to fight for what she believed in and her strength of character. Integra he at first hates; both as a Protestant and as the leader of Iscariot's main rival in England. In time, as with the other characters, he ends up understanding and respecting her position, even defending her from his own men and offering to take her to her mansion. Anderson, again, saw the moral strength of Integra compared to Maxwell's, and chose to defy orders to give her a chance of striking back at Millennium. Thus, he ended up being one of the most glorious martyrs of humanity's fight against the vampire threat of Millennium, and was still remembered thirty years into the future in the future Iscariot.
In the Hellsing TV series, Anderson is less of the complex assassin of the manga and OVA, and more of a fanatical killer with an intense desire to kill Alucard for good. His strength is also considerable, as is the resistance of his bayonets; he is seen almost effortlessly slicing apart a subway train; another ability his counterparts lack is a special Bible whose pages scatter when damaged, wrapping around vampires and binding them so as to provide easier targets. He confronted Alucard twice, once removed out of the country by express wish of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was present at London as Incognito's force attempted to destroy Hellsing by assaulting the Tower of London.
Alucard and Anderson
Their battles have captured the imagination of each reader, the first battle we see regeneration powers and he then goes on to behead Alucard and is told of Alucard’s true power. The two meet again and a battle is about to break out but it is stopped. You can see the blood lust between the two of them, But the battle never happens. They do not fear each other and seem willing to do anything to fight and push them to the limit. The only thing able to stop them is their masters.
Weapons and Abilities
- Bayonets: Anderson uses blessed bayonets to fight in close-combat (holding one in each hand or sometimes three smaller bayonets in his off-hand) and can also throw them with alarming accuracy (while holding them between his finger). The bayonets are made of blessed silver with holy writing on their hilts. They also seem to have different levels of blessing ranging from simple (able to just harm a vampire) to powerful (cutting down vampires in a single blow or turning them to dust). During the London attack Anderson wielded bayonets that held explosives in their handles as well as a large assortment of these bayonets attached to a chain that he uses to vanquish a large section of Alucard's summoned familiars. Anderson can throw upwards to nine or ten bayonets at a time and seems to be able to control their trajectory once thrown, much like how Rip Van Winkle can control her magic bullets. Anderson seems to have a limitless supply of whatever type of bayonet Iscariot has equipped him with at the time, often sliding them out of his sleeves or pulling them out of his cassock in large number, bringing jokes by creator Kouta Hirano that he is four-dimensional.
- Teleportation, Holy Barriers, & Consecration: Anderson can affix pages of scripture onto the walls and windows of a building with nails, in order to create a barrier that vampires can not cross through. The barriers are powerful enough to hold Alucard within the building they meet in and to stop Seras from escaping through a window. We only see the barries used once so it is unknown how strong they are and what else they can be used for. Anderson has be shown that he can use bible pages to teleport himself. It has been shown that he is capable of teleporting long distances, such as when he teleported across London to engage Alucard in their final duel.
- The Nail: Helena's Nail is the last resort in Anderson arsenal. It is a nail from Christ's cross found by Constantine's mother Helena, given to him by Section III Matthew the Vatican's relic retrieval division. When fighting Alucard for the last time Anderson rammed the nail into his heart creating as Alucard put it a "monster of god". The Nail seemed to give Anderson power to match Alucard's, providing him with vast superhuman strength and speed as well as power over what seemed appeared to be holy vines of thorns. These vines can wrap themselves around his foes and cause injury, and instantly ignite all things unholy or satanic, causing them to erupt in flames. The thorns also seem to regenerate any part of Anderson body and provide him with a shield able to block bullets from Alucard's most powerful gun the Jackal (which had previously blown off a chunk of Anderson's arm). The thorns almost transformed Anderson completely into some type of thorn monster. It is believed that the thorns where a nod to the crown of thorns worn by Jesus, which Alucard makes and allusion to.
- Regeneration: Anderson is classified as a regenerator, a human who was genetically engineered by the Vatican to fight vampires. Knowing a normal man would not stand a chance against monsters in close-combat, the church used bio-technology (likely nanotechnology) to create regenerators who are able to re-grow limbs and heal quickly from wounds including minor injuries or even bullets wounds (including point blank head-shots and barrages of automatic fire). The regenerators are very rare and perhaps one of the best weapons against vampire kind. Alucard is surprised when he learns what Anderson is can considers him a worthy opponent. Anderson's regeneration makes him extremely durable and also prevents him from aging.