Meet Deacon Frost, Blade's Most Personal Enemy
Who is Deacon Frost? Read on to learn more about the vampiric villain who turned Blade into the Daywalker.
Like most realities plagued by dark magic and the occult, the Marvel Universe regularly suffers infestations of netherworld ne'er-do-wells. However, none of these creatures are quite so horrifying—or plentiful—as those despicable blood-sucking baddies: vampires.
In fact, despite being banished from the universe by a spell called the Montesi Formula in DOCTOR STRANGE (1974) #62 by Roger Stern and Steve Leialoha, Marvel’s Homines nocturnae population became so seething, they were able to form their own nation.
Still, some of these vampires stand out from the others. Morbius, Baron Blood, and even Dracula himself are just a few of the prominent plasma-guzzling ghouls to skulk thirstily through dark corners of the 616 and beyond, slaking their cravings on unwitting victims. But perhaps the most unique (and frankly bizarre) Marvel vampire is not the one many fans expect, despite his legendary exploits.
We’re talking about the man who killed Blade’s mother, created one of the Daywalker’s closest allies, and—in the halcyon haze of the 1970s—hatched arguably the wildest vampire coup in this or any other universe.
Yes, we’re talking about Deacon Frost, one of Marvel’s battiest vampires—and Blade’s darkest foe.
Who Is Deacon Frost?
Deacon Frost first appeared in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #13 by Gene Colan and Ron Wilson. Described as a tall man with slicked-back white hair and eyes that glowed red in even the dullest light, Frost immediately struck an imposing profile. Blade revealed Frost to be the vampire who attacked and killed his mother, Tara Brooks, as she was giving birth to him in a UK brothel. Already showing a penchant for duplicity and guile, Frost posed as Brooks’ doctor just to get close enough to feed on her when she was at her most vulnerable.
Fortunately, Blade survived the ordeal. Ironically, thanks to Frost’s attack, he was born a Dhampir: a human blessed with immunity to vampire bites. He was also gifted a few other diluted vampire abilities, like enhanced strength and reflexes. Unfortunately, Blade also lost his mother to Frost’s bite and entered life as an orphan. As is the case with most familial Super Hero tragedies, he later pivoted his thirst for vengeance into crime fighting and launched a successful career as Marvel’s deadliest and most effective vampire slayer.
Despite Blade’s skill, Frost continued to lurk unfettered in the background of the TOMB OF DRACULA series. He haunted the memories of not just Blade, but his greatest vamp-hunting ally, Hannibal King, who the Daywalker met in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #44 by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer. As it turns out, in addition to being the progenitor of Blade’s lifelong misery, Frost was also responsible for transforming an unwilling King into a vampire. As such, King—a one-time private investigator—swore his own revenge on the silver-haired bloodsucker.
With Blade and King busy hunting Frost—and TOMB’s titular Dracula otherwise beset by challenges from demon cults, a particularly vexing picture of Jesus Christ, and the Silver Surfer, of all people—Frost quietly set into motion his most ambitious scheme: to dethrone Dracula and claim the title of Lord of the Vampires for himself. His plan, however, wasn’t just different; it was downright bonkers, thanks mostly to a very, very weird vampire superpower.
Strange Fangs & Doppel-gangs: The Peculiar Powers of Deacon Frost
Both the plans and powers of Deacon Frost started to become clearer in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #48 by Wolfman and Colan, but that didn’t make them any less wild. The issue ended in a pitched confrontation between Blade and his evil vampire doppelganger, which was the first sign things were getting odd. What made it even stranger was the connection this double had to Frost’s secret origins and his plans for Dracula.
Unlike most vampires, the mustachioed menace Deacon Frost wasn’t bitten by another “leech” (as Blade calls the undead); instead, he was the victim of his own insatiable hubris. As explained in TOMB OF DRACULA (1972) #53 by Wolfman and Colan, Frost started out as an “ordinary” man, albeit a troubled one.
The issue called Frost a “chemist with delusions of grandeur,” whose experiments in “life-prolongation” resulted in an immortality potion made from the blood of a recently killed vampire. Frost meant to inject the serum into a woman he captured and then study its effects, but during a fight with her fiancée, Frost was jabbed with the evil elixir instead and instantly transformed into a vampire… with a twist.
As even casual observers of vampire lore know, the bitten become stricken with an unslakable bloodlust. Along with suffering the standard pangs that come with the fangs, Frost also enjoyed the usual vampire powers, like shapeshifting, magical hypnosis, and accelerated strength and healing. But Deacon Frost proved to be extra, as he also obtained a brand new power that let him create an infinite number of vampiric doppelgangers simply by biting his victims.
So, when Frost bit Blade’s mother, he planted a “seed” that would later grow into a vampiric double. The latter, eviler Blade beat and then absorbed his original human counterpart at the end of issue #48 and took over as his dominant personality. Incidentally, this was the first time Blade was actually called a “hybrid” vampire-human in the Marvel Universe.
The good and bad Blades were eventually separated by Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, and the vampire doppelganger was ultimately killed. But this was just stage one of Frost’s plan. Fortunately, that scheme never came to fruition, as Frost was unceremoniously killed in the same issue. The cause? An explosion involving an underground lair, dodgy machinery, and the “jar of deadly fungus” that Frost brandished against the heroes. A dangerous cocktail, indeed.
In BLADE: CRESCENT CITY BLUES (1998) by Christopher Golden and Gene Colan, Deacon Frost seemed to return to take over the New Orleans underworld, but was again stopped by King and Blade. He turned up once more in TOMB OF DRACULA (2004) #4 by Rob Rodi and Jamie Tolagson, uncharacteristically helping Dracula acquire godlike powers. Blade made short work of Frost by stabbing him through the heart in a quick scuffle, which sent him back to his grave in a burst of flames.
Just like previously, that seemed to keep Frost down for a time… but not forever. He eventually returned not just to hound the Daywalker, but also his family.
Blurring the Bloodline: Deacon Frost vs. the Daughter of Blade
Deacon recently reared his sinister silver head in BLOODLINE: DAUGHTER OF BLADE (2023) by Danny Lore and Karen S. Darboe. The story follows Brielle Brooks, who inherited her father’s powers and must now learn to live with their consequences and responsibilities, all while contending with a force even more terrifying than vampires: high school.
Frost officially reappeared in BLOODLINE: DAUGHTER OF BLADE (2023) #3 in his usual smarmy fashion, smiling a sick grin and casually snacking on a steak before abducting Safron Caulder, Blade’s ex-girlfriend and Brielle's mother.
Now, it is unclear whether this is actually the genuine article or just another doppelganger, but his plan—to use the Brooks family blood to bridge the gap between humans and vampires—certainly resonates with his signature brand of outlandish villainy. If nothing else, it once again proves what a standout character the resilient Deacon Frost is, even when he’s literally surrounded by two-bit copies.
Catch Deacon Frost's latest scheme in BLOODLINE: DAUGHTER OF BLADE #4, on sale now!
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