Published January 4, 2017

Mighty Marvel Vampires

Here's a cheat sheet on the evil undead!

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Take a look at some of Marvel’s most fiendish, ferocious and sometimes even heroic fang-barring undead.

The big daddy of vampire-dom, Dracula originated in Bram Stoker’s classic novel “Dracula” and debuted in the Marvel universe with TOMB OF DRACULA #1 back in 1972. Since then he’s thrown down with everyone from Blade to Doctor Strange to MI-13 to Apocalypse to his own daughter Lilith. Not even the Montesi Formula—a spell Strange cast to eliminate all vampires on Earth—or a blow from the fabled sword Excalibur could keep him down for long. Most of the other vampires in the Marvel Universe owe Dracula their existence as undead, in some form or fashion.

While Dracula might win the award for the most well-known bloodsucker, Varnae holds the title for being the inaugural undead in the Marvel Universe. Before Atlantis sunk to the bottom of the ocean, sorcerers used the Book of the Darkhold to transform Varnae into the first vampire—and the only creature to survive the cataclysmic events that resulted in the ancient city’s destruction. But the transformed beast spread his infection across the world, creating more monsters like himself and battling the likes of Thor, among others. Eventually tiring of his immortal existence, Varnae passed the mantle Lord of the Vampires to Dracula before committing suicide by sunlight. Sometime after the Montesi Formula destroyed all vampires, the voodoo witch Marie LaVeau resurrected Varnae, eliminating the spell’s effect on Earth.

Blade, who debuted in TOMB OF DRACULA #10, became “part” vampire when Deacon Frost attacked his mom during childbirth. Blade inherited some attributes—which a bite from Morbius the Living Vampire later enhanced—but none of their weaknesses, making the “Daywalker” the perfect hunting machine. Blade started his career searching for his mother’s killer, leading to alliances with other hunters like the Van Helsings, Frank Drake, and even Hannibal King, himself a vampire turned by Frost as well as teams like MI-13 and the Mighty Avengers.

Baron Blood
John Falsworth, uncle to the Invader known as Spitfire, had an interest in vampire lore that led him right into the clutches of Dracula. After the Lord of Vampires turned Falsworth into one of his own, the newly reborn Baron Blood took to wearing a bat-like costume and allied himself with Germany during World War II. His shenanigans eventually caused the injury that resulted in Spitfire receiving a blood transfusion from the Original Human Torch—the same one that gave her powers. Falsworth would die and come back a few times over the course of his career, and other characters—including Spitfire’s own son—would later take up the moniker.

Vampire by Night
A family curse caused Nina Price—the niece of Jack Russell, aka Werewolf by Night—to become a werewolf on her 18th birthday, while a vampire attack turned her undead. The two curses, however, affected her in an interesting way: by day she’s normal, while at night she has the powers of a vampire—except during a full moon, when she goes full wolf. After teaming with her uncle, she eventually joined S.H.I.E.L.D.’s supernatural Howling Commandos.

Jubilation Lee has been many things: Wolverine’s sidekick, Generation X member, de-powered New Warrior, and adopted mom to name a few—but in 2010 a vampire suicide bomber infected her with a bioengineered virus, resulting in a different role for the former mallrat. With her mutant powers gone as a result of M-Day, Jubilee’s vampirism gives her a new set of skills and weaknesses.

When Dracula can’t find a human, he turns to a cow named Bessie to satisfy his thirst, thus creating Hellcow. After battling Howard the Duck in the 1970’s and seemingly dying, Hellcow returned to life in an issue of DEADPOOL TEAM-UP in 2011, where she helped Deadpool against the villainous Kilgore by temporarily turning the Merc with a Mouth into a vampire himself.